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Council gives £1,500 grant to mid-Norfolk kickboxers representing Great Britain in Florida

PUBLISHED: 11:41 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:41 19 April 2017

Bonnie Chamberlin (10) hopes to compete in the World Martial Arts games in Orlando, Florida in September. Also pictured is kickboxing instructor Tom Oldridge, who will join her. Picture: Ian Burt

Bonnie Chamberlin (10) hopes to compete in the World Martial Arts games in Orlando, Florida in September. Also pictured is kickboxing instructor Tom Oldridge, who will join her. Picture: Ian Burt

Three kickboxers from mid-Norfolk have been awarded a special council grant to help them on their way to America to represent their country in martial arts.

Breckland Council has awarded them each with a £500 Gifted and Talented grant so that they will be able to represent Great Britain in the 2017 World Martial Arts Games in Florida.

All three recipients train at Tom’s Kickboxing Academy in Shipdham.

Ten-year-old Bonnie Chamberlin, of Bradenham, has had four fights to date with no losses. She has reached green belt level.

Councillors John Rogers and Theresa Hewett, Breckland Council ward members for Saham Toney, said: “Bonnie has done amazingly well to achieve so much in such a short time – she is clearly dedicated to her sport. Competing at such a high level will be a fantastic experience for her.”

Scott Gibbons, 20, of Beetley, has trained at the academy for the past four years and has achieved the grade of 2nd Dan black belt. He is also an instructor at the club.

Councillors Robert Richmond and Richard Duffield, Breckland Council members for the Lincoln ward, said: “Mr Gibbons narrowly missed out on competing in the World Games in Africa in 2016, so it’s great news that he has been selected to represent Britain this year in Florida. We’re pleased that we were able to award this grant to support him in this exciting world contest.”

The third grant recipient, 25-year-old Thomas Oldridge from Swaffham, owns the Shipdham kickboxing academy and also teaches there. His achievements to date include reaching 3rd Dan black belt and 15 fights with no losses.

Councillors Shirley Matthews and Paul Darby, Breckland Council ward members for Swaffham, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for a local academy to have so many members competing at such a high level. We wish Mr Oldridge and all those competing every success in Florida.”

The grants will help cover competition costs such as air fares and accommodation.

- Breckland Council offers grant schemes that support individuals and community projects. For more information contact the Norfolk Community Foundation by ringing 01603 623958 or email grants@norfolkfoundation.com.

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