In a short space of time young Smawthorne Henry Moore School pupil Alfie Haycock has made big strides in the sport of karate.
Sengoku Karate Featherstone member Alfie, 10, only took up karate less than three years ago, but he has progressed so well that he is now on his way to the world championships.
Alfie will represent his country in the global event taking place in Bratislava after doing well when attending the North East GB squad training this year and earning a place in the GB team (B squad).
The Castleford youngster’s latest success follows a number of medal winning performances last year and early in 2019.
Alfie’s first gold medal came in 2018’s Liverpool Open last April in the individual kata.
In the GB Open in October in Birmingham he won a gold medal in individual kata and silver medals in pairs kata and individual kata.
In December he gave up his family trip to Germany to enter another GB Open event in Birmingham and came away with the double gold kata and silver kata. He was the Grand Champion in the Kata League final.
More medals have followed already this year with a silver in the individual kata at the Liverpool Open and a bronze in the individual kata at the North East International Open.
While Alfie has risen through the ranks well it has not all been plain sailing for Alfie as his mum Kelly explained: “After we enrolled Alfie at Sengoku Karate Alfie took to the training really quickly and graded for his first belt in January 2017.
“Very shortly afterwards Alfie entered his first karate competition in Barnsley. Once we arrived Alfie was extremely nervous, I don’t think he really knew what to expect and was a little overcome. As parents this was hard to see, however the coach’s took Alfie to one side and worked their magic.
“Alfie tried his best, but he was eliminated in the first round. Although disappointed he was adamant that he wanted to try again.
“In 2017 we were due to go on a family holiday when Alfie had a nasty accident and was hospitalised, requiring surgery. As a result Alfie missed a couple of gradings, but he took it in his stride.
“The training hasn’t just taught him how to punch and kick, it has taught him how to be patient, handle nerves, disappointment and given him confidence. Sensei Ty, Sensei Nicki and Sensei Bill have done a fantastic job, we cannot thank them enough for what the training has done for Alfie.”
Kelly is hoping to find sponsors who can help with Alfie’s further development in karate as he competes round the world for the GB team. Anyone who can help can ring 07719629802.