Talented family gets kicks from karate

MOST teenagers are obsessed with fashion but when it comes to belts the only ones these youngsters are interested in are black ones.Caitlin Batchelor may only be eleven but she has just joined her older brother and sister to gain the top grade in karate.

MOST teenagers are obsessed with fashion but when it comes to belts the only ones these youngsters are interested in are black ones.

Caitlin Batchelor may only be eleven but she has just joined her older brother and sister to gain the top grade in karate.

And her 16-year-old sister Chelsea has taken the place of English Champion for the last three years running.

The trio all attend the Mick Blackwell Martial Arts Academy, in Hadleigh Road, where their trainer would describe them as one of the most talented karate families in the area.

Mr Blackwell said: “I was very surprised when Chelsea first started here. She was such a natural that I thought she must have done karate before.

“All three children are really quiet and wouldn't say boo to a goose but they are very competitive and very talented.”

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Father Andy Batchelor said his children all started the sport when they were ten as a way of learning to look after themselves and to gain confidence.

Mr Batchelor, of Randwell Close, Ipswich, said: “I thought they would just do it for a few years to learn some self defence.

“I worry about bullying in schools and thought if they had some karate lessons it might help them become more confident.

“Chelsea did not want to go to her first class but could not believe how much she loved it when she did.

“She has gone from not being very keen to training four or five times a week.

“I do not force them to do it, they do it because they want to. I just support them.”

Does your family have a talent? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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