Shotley karate teen's England call-up

HIS country needs him - and now he needs you!Nineteen-year-old Ritchie McMillan from Shotley has been called into the England karate squad for the European Senior Championships to be held in Estonia in May, even though he is still classified as a junior.

HIS country needs him - and now he needs you!

Nineteen-year-old Ritchie McMillan from Shotley has been called into the England karate squad for the European Senior Championships to be held in Estonia in May, even though he is still classified as a junior.

It's a great accolade for the black belt who is an instructor with the SD School of Martial Arts in Colchester and who has twice represented his country at junior level, most recently in the Junior European Championships in Trieste, Italy.

However, Ritchie needs to secure £500 worth of sponsorship to ensure his dream trip and his senior England debut, and he is now looking for a local company to sponsor him.

“To be called up into the senior squad came as a complete surprise because I am still a junior,” said Ritchie, who won a bronze medal at the 2007 Junior World Championships in Turkey - the only Brit to achieve a medal. “It's a very exciting prospect but every member of the squad has to secure sponsorship. This is a very important event in the world karate calendar and I am very proud to be representing Ipswich on such a prestigious stage. If a local company would like to share in this experience, I would love to hear from them.”

Sean Doyland, himself a former England karate international and European open gold medal winner, is the chief instructor at the SD School of Martial Arts. He has mentored Ritchie for the past 12 years and is thrilled at his senior call-up.

Most Read

Sean said: “For Ritchie to be called into the senior squad whilst still a junior is a very rare achievement and is justifiable reward for the huge amounts or practice he puts in. We'll all be keeping our fingers crossed that he does well.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring Ritchie can contact him through the SD School of Martial Arts on 01206 860008.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter