Bailey Baker has the world at his feet after being picked to represent England on the global stage.
The 15-year-old karate champ has made stunning progress in the last 12 months – picking up medals at every major domestic championships.
His work has not gone unnoticed by England coaches, but he still had it all to do at selections.
He did not disappoint, beating all-comers and earning his place on the plane for the World Junior Karate Championships in Guadalajara, Spain, in November.
But he will need some help footing the cost of the pre-training and the trip, and is hoping sponsors will come forward.
Bailey, from Castlemead, near Witherwack, who will compete in the cadet U-70kg fighting section, said: “I’m just thrilled to be selected.
“It’s what I’ve been working towards and all the sacrifices and early mornings have paid off.”
The Red House Academy pupil has picked up gongs at the English and British championships, and a super silver at the British International Open in Glasgow this year.
Bailey’s coach, Northern England regional coach Gavin Foster, has high hopes he can reach the medals on the world stage.
“It’s an amazing achievement to be chosen to represent your country at any sport, but there is no reason Bailey can’t go even further.
“As coaches we can guide athletes, but what Bailey has is the desire to win and he’s the one who has to do the hard work.”
Bailey trains at the East Durham Ishinryu Karate Club, based at East Durham College, Peterlee.
He has a gruelling schedule and needs to make regular trips to national squad training for which he has to foot the bill, as well as costs for the Spain trip.
Anyone able to help with sponsorship should call Mr Foster on 07708 098 691.