Brackley youngster wins karate gold

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A YOUNG karate sensation from Brackley has won the gold medal in the British International Karate Championships after beating the world silver medalist.

George Entwistle, who goes to Magdalen College School, has studied karate with the Oxford Sport and Traditional Martial School (OSTMA) for over five years.

OSTMA, which is the largest club in Oxfordshire with well over 1,000 students, has 10 current England karate team members and nine national champions.

George is studying to achieve his black belt and is expected to grade towards the end of 2013.

The 12-year-old also regularly trains with the England team in Loughborough and is currently the national bronze champion at his weight class for Kumite (fighting).

Describing how he got into karate, George said: “I saw it advertised and decided to give it a go because I liked martial arts and that sort of thing. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of it is to do with fitness which is what I enjoy.

“I do it four times a week and squad train with England, which is very intense but good fun.”

George’s father, Craig, added: “He leads by example to a wide community of children and parents throughout Oxford and further afield.

“He demonstrates success in his chosen sport, combined with clear vision of what he would like to achieve in the future. George conducts himself with a maturity beyond his years.”

At school, George is a school council representative and has been involved with anti-bullying campaign ideas while also interviewing potential teachers for the school on behalf of the pupils.

Craig added: “A recent example of his maturity and decision-making was when a child was unfortunately injured by a car near the karate hall. George took the class warm up and exercise allowing his Sensai (karate instructor) to take immediate action away from the dojo.

“I’m very proud of him. It takes a lot of commitment and he gets a lot of support from the Sensai which helps him build and develop as a person.

“I’m proud to see how he’s developing and it’s great what the club do for the students. It’s very structured and they’re doing a good thing.”

George competed in the British International Karate Championships in Crawley for the first time and fought in five fights.

He added: “It was hard because people from Scotland, Ireland and Wales competed.

“Normally I’m in the under 45 kilos but I was moved up to under 55 for the championships.

“I fought five in total, most of the fights were hard but I started to get used to it by the end and I beat the world silver medalist relatively comfortably in the final.

“I enjoyed the experience, it was fun and I felt very proud and happy to win the gold.”

George has now got aims to compete in several other international competitions this year with trips to Dublin and Sheffield to come.

Throughout the year, he will attend six England training sessions in Loughborough and the same number in Essex, fighting in a regional Karate Team League competition, as well as competing in the nationals in May.

His goal this year is to compete in the European Championship in October. George, who has also been appointed team captain for Interclub competitions, added: “My next competition is in Dublin in March then I have the European Championships in Sheffield.

“I haven’t been to the Worlds yet but I need to fight for my place because you need to be a certain grade and beating the silver medalist in the British Championships will help towards that.

“I get a lot of support from the Sensai and I really appreciate it so I just want to say thank you to the club for all their help.”

Other students securing medals at the British Championships were 10-year-old Richie Bassinder, from Middleton Cheney, and 17-year-old silver medal winner Ben Turner.

Sensai Lee Willis third Dan can be contacted on 07790 607037 or you can visit the website at www.ostma.co.uk.