ht local kickboxers were in magnificent form when they represented England in the World Kickboxing Championships in Taranto, Italy.
Oliver Barthorpe, Briony Barthorpe, Calum Crooks, Keal Dimmock, Natalie Butterfield, Jack Rhodes, Carla Hesslegrave and Wayne Cartwright, who train at Deborah’s Strike Academy (DSA) in Kinsley, all did their country proud by fighting their way to seven gold medals, two silver medals and four bronze medals.
The students show tremendous commitment in training all year for such events. In the run up to major tournaments, they train morning and evening six days a week, which is all fitted in with their schooling and careers.
The academy was founded over 25 years ago by Sensei Ian Womersley and his wife Sensei Deborah Womersley, who sadly died of cancer in 2011.
As a world champion herself, Deborah was a huge inspiration to students and fighters from all over the world and is sadly missed.
In memory of Deborah the academy formerly known as Strike Academy was re-named as Deborah’s Strike Academy and continues to produce champions.
It has produced over 60 world and British champions over the last 25 years.
Briony Barthorpe and Natalie Butterfield are both four times world champions, Ollie Barthorpe annd Carla Hesslegrave are both three times world champions, Jack Rhodes won his first world title this year and Keal Dimmock was world champion last year.
The academy is open to all age groups, both male and female. It offers continued support and currently has students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Everyone is made welcome at a family orientated club.
The club’s assistant coaches are Darren Barthorpe and Paul Butterfield.
Darren said: “All this would not be possible without the support of the families that attend the academy, so a big thank you goes to them.
“DSA, the students and their families would like to thank the local community for their support with fundraising events. Without their support these eight fighters would not be attending such a prestigious event.
“We would also like to thank the following for their continued support. Asda Carcroft have shown tremendous support with fundraising events allowing numerous bag packs throughout the year. Tesco Hemsworth, Morrisons Doncaster, Morrisons Corton Wood, Iceland Hemsworth and Co-op Ackworth have all contributed in fundraising events to help raise funds.
“We would also like to thank West Yorkshire Police for their generous support in supplying the England fight suits and tracksuits.
“A big thank you must also go to Sensei Ian Womersley for all the time and support he constantly gives.”