A YEAR eight student has been climbing the ranks reaching national and international titles in Karate.

Ellie Costin started karate three years ago and is currently third Kyu (brown belt). She trains around five nights a week - around nine to 13 hours, which has all paid off over the past year where she has achieved many titles competing in Kata performances.

Individually, Ellie is the current British International Open silver medallist for her age and came in tenth place out of 39 in the Polish Open.

She also competes in pair and group competitions. Ellie and her partner, Ellie Payne are both current British International Open Champions and current British Four Nations Championship bronze medallists.

They are both Polish Open bronze medallists along with a third member, Tahlia Blake.

Ellie said: "I have fun competing and enjoy spending time at competitions with my team - we always support each other. I just seem to thrive under pressure of the large championships. I would love to represent my country at an Olympic Games."

Kata is an exercise consisting of several of the specific movements of a martial art, especially a pattern prescribed for defending against several attackers.

Ellie has private lessons with Sensie Kelly Horsall, joint Lead Kata Instructor at Sale Dojo. She said: "Her performances have really taken off this year; converting 4th and 5th places into bronze medals and now more regularly finals with the chance of gold or silver."

Karate is currently a self funded sport and in order to further her development she really needs to do more International competition as the best in the world are based in Italy, Spain and Japan. Finances don’t always allow for Ellie to regularly participate in the European competitions. Sponsorship from local businesses interested in supporting future Ellie should contact saledojo.co.uk.

Over the next year, Ellie is to go up to selections for the England Youth Kata Team.