Sunderland karate kids high kick their way to glory

Medalists Leah Potts, Sean Wallace, Cameron Roper, Olivia Liddle, Sean Gorringe and Ethan Auty, with their medals from the Scottish Open.

Medalists Leah Potts, Sean Wallace, Cameron Roper, Olivia Liddle, Sean Gorringe and Ethan Auty, with their medals from the Scottish Open.

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Karate kids from Sunderland are celebrating bringing home a haul of 14 medals from a national championship.

The six young martial artists travelled from their training base at Kazen Kai Martial Arts in Fitness 2000, Roker, to Motherwell to compete in the KKO Scottish Open Championships.

Sensei Ed Gillespie, 6th dan, who coaches the team and is chief instructor for Kazen Kai North East, said: “For them to bring back 14 medals between them at a national championship is a great achievement. “They all work really hard in training and their hard work shows. They’re really dedicated.

“Their training has been amazing but at competition level it all comes together, everything went to plan.”

Medals included Ethan Auty winning silver in the individual kata and gold in the junior cadet team; Sean Wallace winning gold in the men’s teams and silver in the junior men’s; Sean Gorringe winning gold in the individual junior cadet and gold in the junior cadet teams; Olivia Liddle taking gold in the junior girls individual kumite; Leah Potts winning bronze in the cadet girls and Cameron Roper winning gold in the junior cadet teams.

Ed added: “Whilst they were there they were approached by the organisers who did a team selection to compete at European championship level. Leah went on to represent England and only lost by half a point.

“They will also be taking part in the WUKF European Championships in Romania next April.”