Kids kick their way to success

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured from left, are Leah Potts, 16, Amelia Robson, 8, and  Ethan Auty, 10.
Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured from left, are Leah Potts, 16, Amelia Robson, 8, and Ethan Auty, 10.
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Karate kids have high-kicked their way to national glory.

A group of youngsters from the Kazenkai Karate Club are off to the English Karate Council’s championships next month.

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured from left, are Leah Potts, 16, Amelia Robson, 8, and  Ethan Auty, 10.

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured from left, are Leah Potts, 16, Amelia Robson, 8, and Ethan Auty, 10.

After impressing judges at the AMA Northwest Karate Open in Manchester, Amelia Robinson, seven from Hetton; Shaun Gorringe, ten, from Farringdon; Leah Potts, 16, from Durham; Ethan Auty, 10 from Newbottle and Rose Miller, 10 from Washington are competing at the next level.

They are part of a dedicated club who train twice weekly at the Fitness 2000 gym in Roker.

Kazenkai assistant chief instructor and 6th Dan, Ed Gillespie said: “These kids come together each week and train so hard, and it’s great for them to reach this level, they have really risen through the ranks.

“Amelia was the youngest and smallest in her age category, but she won her first fight in 17 seconds at the AMA’s and her final fight of the day in 34 seconds.”

Amelia was the youngest and smallest in her age category, but she won her first fight in 17 seconds at the AMA’s and her final fight of the day in 34 seconds.

Ed Gillespie

He added: “The confidence you see in these kids is really impressive, They walk through the door, they’re nice kids, but you see their competitive instinct switch on. Yet, they still manage to be humble, polite and well-mannered.

“We do a lot of strength and conditioning work with them as well, which I think is how they are managing to do so well at competition level.”

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured with Ed are, from left, Amelia Robson, 8. Ethan Auty, 10, and Leah Potts, 16.

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured with Ed are, from left, Amelia Robson, 8. Ethan Auty, 10, and Leah Potts, 16.

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured with Ed are, from left, Amelia Robson, 8. Ethan Auty, 10, and Leah Potts, 16.

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured with Ed are, from left, Amelia Robson, 8. Ethan Auty, 10, and Leah Potts, 16.

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured from left, are Amelia Robson, 8. Ethan Auty, 10, and Leah Potts, 16.

Five (two not present) young karate prospects from the Kazenkai Karate Club, which trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, have been selected to compete in the EKC English Championships and world qualifier by their instructor Ed Gillespie. Pictured from left, are Amelia Robson, 8. Ethan Auty, 10, and Leah Potts, 16.