A Newcastle schoolgirl has been chosen to represent England in the World Karate Championships. Eleven-year-old Molly Cochrane, a Year 6 pupil at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Benwell, will be travelling to Dundee on July 11 to take part in the event as a member of the England Shorai Erito Karate Association (SEKA) Team.

The budding champion, who lives in Newcastle, took up the sport at the age of nine, and is attached to the Kensho Karate Dojo in Gateshead, where she trains twice a week.

Molly started competing a year ago, when she was asked by the Sensei [martial arts teacher] to give it a go, and she was keen to try,” said her mother, Lydia Cochrane. “She has been involved in a variety of competitions locally, as well as in Leeds and Dunfermline, and she has come second in a number of friendly competitions.

The Lead Sensei in Molly’s dojo is the key selector for the SEKA England Squad,”she continued. “He had identified potential in Molly and would like her to experience competing at a world level. She will be competing in two categories – Team Kata, where she and two other girls will synchronise their kata, and individual kata.

A kata is a choreographed pattern of martial art movements, it is the Japanese word for ‘form’.

Friends and family will be cheering Molly on at the event, while St Joseph’s, a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, has also been supportive of the young martial artist.

Molly has only been at St Joseph’s since October, but when they found out about her entering this competition, they encouraged her,” added Mrs Cochrane. “We are so proud of her and how seriously she takes karate. It is great to have such a strong group of senseis who support, encourage, and make her laugh lots. Molly would like many more opportunities to be able to compete and really enjoys karate, so hopes to continue to do it for many more years to come. She would love to one day be a Sensei and teach others. She feels proud to have been selected and is looking forward to being able to take part in this experience and be part of the England SEKA Team.

Sent on behalf of Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust and Barking Dog Media. For more information contact david@barkingdogmedia.co.uk or call 07754 271086.