Medals in teacher’s memory

Strike Kickboxing Team - Back - Jack Mansell, Keane Challenor, Jack Rhodes, Carla Hesslegrave, Briony Barthorpe - Front - OllieBarthorpe, Britney Walker, Jade Hicks, Sammie-Jo Waugh, Linda Walker

Strike Kickboxing Team - Back - Jack Mansell, Keane Challenor, Jack Rhodes, Carla Hesslegrave, Briony Barthorpe - Front - OllieBarthorpe, Britney Walker, Jade Hicks, Sammie-Jo Waugh, Linda Walker

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TALENTED kickboxers have won ten medals - including four world titles - to fulfil their teacher’s dream of success.

Strike Boxing Academy, who train at the Kinsley Hotel, initially were not going to enter the World Kickboxing Council World Championships after the death of their sensei Deborah Womersley, from cancer in September.

But they all summoned up fighting spirit and decided to go for it in memory of their much-loved teacher.

Leanne Mansell, who runs the club, said: “Deborah was a dear friend and was like a mum to the kids so we were all so traumatised by what happened.

“But everyone decided they must go ahead and do what she would have wanted – and that was to bring home medals.”

Mrs Womersley had been helping fundraise to send the team to the competition but was diagnosed with cancer in March.

The determined group of 12 travelled all the way to Cadiz, Spain in November to compete. And they scooped four gold, five silver and one bronze medal.

Mrs Mansell said: “Everyone was really made up, it made it extra special that we had done it for Deborah. She would have been proud.

“She was such a loving and caring person and had taught at the Academy for at least 20 years. We all miss her so much. She was one in a million.”

Mrs Mansell thanked everyone for their help and support, including Bev and Gordon at the hotel, and the people and businesses who donated money towards their trip.

They are now training to take part in the 2012 World Championships in Canada with the hopes of returning with even more medals.

The academy will change its name to Deborah’s Strike Academy in her memory at a re-launch night at the Kinsley Hotel, on Wakefield Road, on December 17.

For more information, or to join the academy, contact Mrs Mansell on 07826 177 603.