Eight students of a Cumbrian karate squad saw success at an international competition in France.

The group, all brown and black belts, are based in Cockermouth and are a part of Cumbria Karate Academy.

Cumbria Karate Academy is made up of four clubs across West Cumbria: Cockermouth, Workington, Whitehaven and Egremont and teaches traditional Wado-ryu Karate.

The students were selected earlier this year and have been training hard both locally and with the national squad in Birmingham, a spokesperson from the academy said.

They travelled to Strasbourg to compete as part of the England squad in the European Wado Kai Cup.

Times and Star: Harriet GriffithsHarriet Griffiths (Image: Cumbria Karate Academy)

The England squad won 10 medals overall with the Cumbrian contingent bagging six across individual kata, team kata and kumite (fighting).

Chief instructor, 6th Dan Black Belt Gordon Harrison, said: “It was a really proud moment seeing the team perform so well after all their hard work.

“We took a relatively small squad who were up against the best in Europe, and we came away with a great medal haul.”

Times and Star: L-R: Vy Nguyen, Harriet Griffiths, Emily CooksonL-R: Vy Nguyen, Harriet Griffiths, Emily Cookson (Image: Cumbria Karate Academy)

Students Joe Cookson, Melodi Saki, Rory Galloni-Wilkinson, Ross Pattinson, Samantha Hewitt, Emily Cookson, Harriet Griffiths and Sophie Cowan competed against 13 other European countries, winning:

  • Bronze in Under 14 Female Team Kata (Emily Cookson & Harriet Griffiths)
  • Bronze in Senior Female Team Kata (Sophie Cowan)
  • Bronze in Under 16 Female Team Kata (Samantha Hewitt & Melodi Saki)
  • Gold in Under 16 Male Team Kata (Joe Cookson, Rory Galloni-Wilkinson & Ross Pattinson)
  • Bronze in Under 16 Female Kumite (Melodi Saki)
  • Silver in Under 14 Male Kumite (Ross Pattinson)

Melodi Saki, 14, said: “It was a fantastic experience to compete as part of the England squad. I was really proud that we all came home with medals.

“I had a great time and made memories that will last forever.”

Times and Star: L-R: Joe Cookson, Ross Pattinson, Rory Galloni-WilkinsonL-R: Joe Cookson, Ross Pattinson, Rory Galloni-Wilkinson (Image: Cumbria Karate Academy)

Teammate Samantha Hewitt, 14, said: “The opening ceremony was brilliant.

“We were led around the arena one nation at a time.

“Everyone was clapping and cheering for every country, not just their own. It was amazing.”

Mr Harrison added: “For me, it is not just about the medals, it was fantastic to give the students the experience of performing on an international stage; now we start training for our next trip in April and the European Wado Cup in Edinburgh in 2024.”