Teenagers at a Sunderland Taekwando club have been hailed after achieving their black belts.
The four youngsters, who are members of Bede Tigers TKD Taekwondo Club, are celebrating reaching the standard after four years of training.
Hannah Smith, 14, Max Heskett, 13, and Jake Dutson, 13, are all now proudly sporting the belts, as well as 11-year-old Rebekah Lowes, daughter of the club’s lead instructor Andrew Lowes.
After a visit to the British Taekwondo HQ in Mansfield last September, where the four attended a seminar, Master Brian Bell, 6th Dan, came to the club to grade them.
The assessment lasted 90 minutes, where the students demonstrated their proficiency in all aspects of Taekwondo.
They had to demonstrate three of the eight patterns which they have learned.
Andrew is now hopeful that any of the four could go on to participate at Olympic level.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Rebekah, Jake, Max and Hannah,” he said. “They have worked for nearly four years to achieve this level in their chosen sport.
“The future in the sport is very bright for them.
“I am so pleased for them. They are a real credit to themselves and model students in every way.
“I look forward to seeing them achieve ever greater things in the future. 2016 is going to be an exciting year for GB Taekwondo.
“Olympic gold medallist and world champion Jade Jones, and world champion Arron Cooke, will be representing amongst others a very exciting Team GB Taekwondo at this year’s Olympics in Rio, Brazil.”
Taekwondo was developed during the 1940s and 1950s by various Korean martial artists, combining and incorporating the elements of karate and Chinese martial arts.
The group has a sister club in Pelaw Tigers TKD.
Bede Tigers train at Bede Tower, in Burdon Road, from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Sundays, and from 5.15pm to 6.15pm on Thursdays.
Those looking for more information about the club should call Andrew on 07792928718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org