Suffolk kids take on the world
PUBLISHED: 10:47 07 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 March 2010
Karate: A GROUP of Suffolk-based youngsters have been chosen to represent England in the World U21 Championships. Davin Pack, Liam Brennan, Leonie Kersey from Ipswich and Joe Mongan from Kesgrave have all been selected for the event, which will be held in Athens in October.
A GROUP of Suffolk-based youngsters have been chosen to represent England in the World U21 Karate Championships.
Davin Pack, Liam Brennan, Leonie Kersey from Ipswich and Joe Mongan from Kesgrave have all been selected for the event, which will be held in Athens in October.
Former international fighter, referee and local coach Billy Brennan, who will be out in Athens as an official, said: "It is a great honour to have four members of the England team from Ipswich. These young competitors are in great form."
Two weekends ago the trio of Pack, Brennan junior and Mongan entered an international open event at Nottingham and won the gold medal from a field of 19 high quality teams.
They are in fine form as the world championships approach.
Liam Brennan will then return from Greece to take up his studies in Nottingham Trent University.
The former Westbourne High School student took a year out and worked before deciding on taking a sports science and management degree.
Welder Davin Pack, 20, is just returning to full fitness after a shoulder operation in February.
"I started in the sport when I was five-years-old," he said, "that's 15 years now.
"It makes you keen to do well when you come back from injury.
"I've previously won a European gold in 1999 and a silver in 1998."
"Sometimes I have been away on international teams and I have bee the only one from here.
"It is nice to have a bit of company and people you know well out there with you."
Nineteen-year-old Leonie Kersey says she has been struggling a bit against injury but is getting back. "I am looking forward to it," she laughed, "but not the amount of training.
She works at Cook Shepherd Pinhey insurance brokers in Ipswich.
Joe Mongan, the newest member of the England team, has moved up from cadet events.
He has completed his studies at Northgate High School and is moving to Suffolk College to take a leisure and recreation course.
The four karate kids meet up with the England team to fly out to Greece in October for a training camp ahead of the World Under 21 Championships, returning on October 15.
Billy Brennan has also been invited to attend, as one of England's representatives, and an international referee as he did for the European Championships earlier in the year.
He said: "I'm really looking forward to it.
"It is also an honour for Ipswich as well as me. These youngsters are some of the brightest young talent in the sport.
"Karate is making great progress in the town. We are in talks with a major local based company and employer about supporting the development of the sport in the town.
"I am hopeful it will bring more good news."