Two members of Backwell Karate take their places on the KUGB England Kata squad, following successful selection at the famous Liverpool Red Triangle Karate dojo this weekend.
Teenager Steven Connell, who studies at Filton College, became only the second ever person from the Bristol and Bath area to be picked for the squad, joining Backwell Karate's club instructor Tim Griffiths. They join Karate exponents from across the country who are all gunning for a space at this year's European Shotokan Karate Championships, due to be held in Zurich in November.
Both Connell and Griffiths were medallists at last year's Southern Region Championships, but with both the current World and European champions amongst their fellow squad members, getting places on the team will be tough.
"This is a great step for Steven, who trains regularly at the club,", says club instructor Tim Griffiths. "This gives him a chance to step up to the next level and become a full international - something that we've not yet had at the club."
Amongst the squad training sessions throughout the year, Connell and Griffiths will have the opportunity to prepare for international competition at two UK Grand Slam competitions, with teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland all represented. Final selections for Zurich 2014 take place later in the year.