STUDENTS at Cheshire Martial Arts Centre can be “extremely proud” of their efforts during 2016, their head coach says.

Members of the Evans House centre have excelled at various championships throughout the calendar year, both on these shores and abroad.

Highlights included a double gold medal for Jess Bate in the kata event at the WUKF European Championships in October.

Ten-year-old Joel Eccleston (gold and silver kata, bronze kumite) and eight-year-old Ben Booth (two silver medals kata) also formed part of the team that competed in Italy and brought home a total of three gold medals, five silvers and two bronzes.

Paul Graham, who is head coach at the centre, was full of praise for the dedication shown by his students, whose ages ranged from eight to 52, throughout the year.

“It takes hours of dedication to achieve this level of success and consistency at such a high level for both student and coach,” he said.

“I am extremely proud of all of my students across club and squad levels.

“They each bring their own uniqueness to our team and, as you can see by the number of awards they have won this year, it’s been a real team effort.

“Committing to training and competition is developing much more than just a winning mentality as it is also making them well rounded individuals.”

Club members are already hard at work in training for the 2017 European Championships, which will be held in Romania in April.