Young Turk is England material

KARATE kid Gareth Hains has been selected to represent England at the European Championships in Izmir, Turkey. The teenager, who lives in Biggleswade and goes to school in Sandy, is a member of the Kaizen Central Karate Club. He is the youngest member of

KARATE kid Gareth Hains has been selected to represent England at the European Championships in Izmir, Turkey.

The teenager, who lives in Biggleswade and goes to school in Sandy, is a member of the Kaizen Central Karate Club.

He is the youngest member of the male squad going to these official European Championships and makes his debut at his first attempt at selection.

His coach and former two-time world champion Willie Thomas sixth Dan is delighted but not surprised.


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Thomas said: "Gareth is one of the country's top talents and showed why he is so highly rated."

He travels out on February 8 and is already looking forward to the opening ceremony.

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Gareth admitted: "Walking out behind your country's flag is a dream I have had for years.

"The only thing better would be to stand on the winner's podium."

He is selected to fight at under-18 and at the under-75kgs weight group.

Gareth was also unlucky not be make it a double selection in kata as well, just missing out to the current English, British and Commonwealth champion and silver medallist at the last Europeans.

He fights in the team events on Saturday as part of the five-man England team and then individually on the Sunday.

Gareth is currently a member of the British Olympic backed elite performers squad under the guidance of Gary Anderson, the former British Olympic director of sport for judo at the Athens Olympics.

The governing body of karate who receive funding from Sport England are unable to fund the event but his costs of £700 have been met by his family.

Without additional support however he will not be able to continue to attend such events. Any business or individual able to help should contact g.hains@ntlworld.com

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