Two schoolboys from Blackburn are delighted after being chosen to represent England at the World Taekwondo Championships – but now they need to raise funds for the trip.
Cousins Samuel Edmondson, aged nine, and Adam Berisha, 10, are both in the England squad for the International Taekwondo Federation Union (ITF Union) World Championships, which will be held in Argentina this October.
Samuel’s mum, Kathryn Edmondson, said she is “super proud” of the boys, who both hold a first degree black belt, and is now fundraising to help pay for their upcoming trip.
Kathryn said: “We are super proud of them and they are just two of 33 people in the UK who have been chosen for the England squad.
“The kids are getting really excited and the boys just didn’t expect it at all - it came as a real shock.
“As they are younger they thought they might be overlooked.”
Kathryn said the opportunity is well-deserved, as the boys have been training for around five years and put in around 20 hours a week on top of their regular school work.
She said: “They do so well and they never complain. They finish their 9am to 3pm at school and they are eager to head off to their taekwondo training after.
“I do believe their strong work ethic is what has gotten them where they are today – let’s just hope we bring back world champions in October.”
Kathyrn also has high praise for their training centre, Beanland Taekwondo, located over the Pennines in Keighley, West Yorkshire.
“There is nobody like Master Chris Beanland which is why the boys travel so far for training. He is the most patient instructor,” said Kathryn.
While the Holy Souls RC Primary School and Shadsworth Junior School pupils have a shot at global victory, they need to raise money to fund their trip first.
Kathryn has set up a GoFundMe page where she is hoping to raise £3,000 to help fund the boys’ trip.
She estimates flights will cost £800 each and money is also needed for their stay, which is estimated to be around nine days.
Kathryn said: “It’s a dream come true for the boys.
"They have been picked for the England team so we will do everything in our power to get them to Buenos Aires.
“Given how disruptive it has been over the last few years with the pandemic, you never know if they will get this opportunity again.
“We are going to give it everything we have and we will get those boys to Argentina where they can represent their country.”
You can donate to Kathryn’s GoFundMe here.