STUDENTS from two karate clubs in Warrington are celebrating success in the WUKF World Karate Championships.

Cheshire Martial Arts Centre’s Joel Eccleston, 12, and Oliver Smith, 16, won gold medals in kata (patterned moves) while representing England SSKA in the Dundee event.

Eccleston (kumite, fighting), along with clubmate Ben Hutson-Redfearn (kata), added silver successes, while there were bronzes for Grace Barnett (kata) and Rio Johnson (kumite).

Great Sankey Karate Club’s Joanne Phelan, 25, clinched a kata gold and two more in team kumite (fighting) for England SSK.

Adding to her club’s medal tally were Danielle Shaw(bronze, kumite and team kumite), Dan Trova (silver, kata) and Dominic Lewis (silver, kata).

For some of them it was their first major championships in among more than 2,000 competitors from over 40 countries.

Cheshire Martial Arts Centre, based at Evans House, and England SSKA head coach Paul Graham said of his students: “They all exceeded expectations and displayed pure talent against the top karatika in the world.

“We have a string of top athletes in our club and squad and they train hard and push each other to develop and constantly improve.

“To be the best and compete at this top level my students train up to 12 hours per week leading up to major championships.

“To dedicate this level of commitment additional to work and school commitments shows the attitude and drive my students have to achieve these top results.”

Cheshire Martial Arts is open seven days a week. For further details, call the club on 07831 418631 or email

Steve Nelson, head coach at Great Sankey Karate Club, added: “It was great to see all the hard work come together and the team push for medals in all sections we entered.

“We have a really talented squad with a great attitude and work ethic.”

Great Sankey Karate Club, currently based at Penketh High School, welcome new members. More information is available on their Facebook page, Great Sankey Karate Club - SSK.

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