Saffron Walden’s Pro-Karate Academy impress at British Four Nations

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 June 2018

Saffron Walden's Pro-Karate Academy youngsters celebrate their success at the British Four Nations

Saffron Walden's Pro-Karate Academy youngsters celebrate their success at the British Four Nations


Saffron Walden’s Pro-Karate Academy had plenty to cheer at the British Four Nations at Leicester.

Chief instructor and former England international Chelsea Sydes took a squad of six to one of the biggest events of the year, including Harry Marsden (17), Talia Nardelli (nine), Courtney Power (13), Tilly Mckirdle (11), Erin Brewin (eight) and Adam Cunik (12).

And the small squad returned with two British champions and a bronze medal after some outstanding results.

Power was the first one in action and her precise, sharp and technical kata (forms) took her through four rounds, before just missed out on a place in the final and claimed bronze.

Sydes said: “Courtney trains really hard and always puts in 100 per cent effort. She has represented the England Youth kata squad already and is now currently training to be part of the Junior England team. Her determination and focus has finally paid off.”

Nardelli was in kumite action and, being the current National champion, was under pressure to perform but came through five fights to be crowned British champion to complete a double.

“It’s been a really good year for Talia so far. Every competition she has entered she has taken gold, but for her to scoop the National and British title is amazing,” added Sydes.

“She is proving she really is the number one at her age. Talia’s fitness, finesse and finish on techniques is really fantastic and putting her a cut above the rest.”

Marsden is currently on the England A squad for kata and training hard to be selected for the European Championships in February 2019, having claimed silver at the National finals.

Technical, aggressive speed of movements stood out as he came through four rounds to claim the British title and his first major gold.

Sydes said: “As a coach I’m so proud. I’ve been teaching all three students from a very young age and their hard work is really paying off.

“With each category having around 60 competitors it’s tough to get through a round let alone come out with a British title.

“This is one of the biggest competitions in Britain and only clubs affiliated to the British Karate Federation (BKF) can attend, this being the only Federation recognised by the IOC.

“As we start approaching the Olympics this is a very exciting time for everyone. World and European medalists were competing so students really do get to see the best there is and how hard they have to work if they want a World or European medal and eventually Olympic as that is everyone’s aim.”

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