Blackbelt Emma to represent England

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Karate students from Chronicle Country and beyond competed in a regional competition on Saturday (October 20).

More than 100 youngsters took part in the Seventh National Karate Championships at Gamlingay Village College.

Organiser Frank Nezhadpournia welcomed competitors aged from five to 18 who travelled from around Bedfordshire and neighbouring counties.

Frank gave particular praise to Emma Houldsworth of Biggleswade, a blackbelt student who has now earned the Three Lions badge which will mean she can represent England.

He said: “Emma won two gold medals and a silver on Saturday, having already won a bronze medal at the European Karate Championships earlier this year.

“She will now compete at the East Anglian Championships next month.

“The World Championships are actually taking place next month as well but we have decided to wait until next year as Emma needs more match practice.”

Frank, who lives in Biggleswade and runs the Actikarate school said many of the students performed superbly at the event.

He added: “Emily Crossland won a gold medal in the junior kata while Tilly Kidd achieved a gold in the kumite.

“I was very proud.”

Frank is especially pleased with Emma, who he believes could perform strongly at the World Championships next year.

He said: “Emma has come on leaps and bounds and to be awarded the Three Lions Badge is a real honour.

“She is a very disciplined and level-headed person and I’m very confident that she will continue to do well.”