Sunderland karate champion needs help to win world title

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A TEENAGE karate champion could miss out on a world title if she cannot raise funds to take part in a competition in Romania.

Lucy McKellar is hoping to compete in the World Union of Karate-Do Federations fifth senior world championship in June.

The 18-year-old, of Red House, is a member of Tohoku Shotokan Karate Club, based in Seaburn, and the Amateur Martial Association (AMA) squad.

But Lucy, who will begin a sports degree at Sunderland University in the autumn, will miss out on a potential title in Bucharest if she does not find the money to compete.

“We have raised the money for the flights to Romania,” said her mother Lyn McKellar, 40, who works part-time as a learning mentor to help Lucy.

“But we have exhausted the fund-raising, and don’t have money for the expenses while we are in Romania.”

She added:“It costs a lot to attend all the competitions.

“We have put leaflets in a lot of businesses but with the current financial climate, those who could have helped are finding it a lot more difficult.”

Lucy, who has two part-time jobs at Dalton Park and The Cottage Tavern, Cleadon, started practising kata and kumite karate about 10 years ago.

Since then she has progressed to make the AMA elite squad and taken part in competitions around the country and abroad, including earlier this year at an international competition in Malta, where she won three first-place titles.

“She is amazing, well we think she is,” said Lyn, who is married to Lucy’s dad Chris, 41. “Especially for someone of her age. We are extremely proud of her. She has worked so hard.”

The couple, who travel with Lucy and support her at all competitions, say that if the determined teenager cannot attend the World Championships, it will not only be a disappointment to her but could damage her karate career.

“If she can’t go, she will be personally devastated and I don’t know what impact it will have on her karate in general,” said Lyn.

“Every competition she does, she comes placed, so she must be doing something right.

“We would ask anyone who can help financially, or in any other way, to help us take Lucy to Romania.

“It is the opportunity of a lifetime for her, and recognition of all the hard work she has done to get this far.”

l Anyone able to help can contact Lyn on 0191 548 3937, or email lynmckellar1@hotmail.co.uk.