Place in club’s his­tory for Aimee

TEENAGER PRAISED AF­TER ACHIEV­ING TOP GRADE

Sunderland Echo - - News - By Fiona Thomp­son fiona.thomp­son@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @fionath­omp­sonjp

A teenager has be­come the first fe­male fighter in her karate club to gain a black belt.

Aimee Potts joined Lyons Sho­tokan five years ago as a “shy kid” but has gained in con­fi­dence and skill to achieve the high­est belt in the sport.

The 15-year-old has been pre­sented with the belt by chief in­struc­tor James Luke af­ter pass­ing the Sho­dan 1st Dan black belt test in Soli­hull.

The achieve­ment marks a first for the club, as the Het­ton School stu­dent is the first of its girls to pass the test, pro­gress­ing through nine belts.

James, him­self a black belt 6th Dan, said: “Aimee joined our club in 2012 as a shy kid with a few con­fi­dence is­sues, but she man­aged to grad­u­ally over­come this.

“She ac­quit­ted her­self bril­liantly, draw­ing favourable com­ments from all the in­struc­tors on the grad­ing panel and mak­ing her in­struc­tor very proud.

“Aimee is a lovely young lady who will make a valu­able ad­di­tion to our ever-grow­ing team of back belts.

“She is quite tena­cious and I think she has re­ally grown in con­fi­dence over the last few years – or that’s what her par­ents say we have helped to do.

“Now she’s is talk­ing about what­she­wantstodonex­tand col­lege.

“Ev­ery one at Lyons Karate would like to send her our con­grat­u­la­tions.”

Aimee, from Het­ton, will now work her way up through the Dans as she adds to her grade.

The club meets at both Eas­ing­ton Lane Pri­mary and Het­ton Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the Lyons Karate Club page on Face­book.

Mem­bers of Lyons Sho­tokan hoist their new black belt Aimee Potts. In­set, Aimee with in­struc­tor James Luke.

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