Quest Taekwondo members from Silsden, Penistone, Bradford and Settle enjoyed the privilege of training with international star Sarah Stevenson at the Great Britain Academy in Manchester.
And ten-year-olds Liam Burdock and Jamie Kidd, both from Silsden, were among those to win one of Stevenson’s stars of the day awards, along with Harriet Akeroyd (16, Settle) and Jake Barnett (16, Baildon).
The youngsters – who also included 11-year-olds Daniel Moody and Luke Jones, both from Penistone, and Karl Harris (11, Cottingley) – were invited to attend the Sarah Stevenson Inspires workshop by Quest coach Rick Simpson in recognition of their excelletnt progress and success in sparring competitions Stevenson, 29 from Doncaster, is Great Britain’s most decorated talent, having competed in four Olympic Games (winning bronze in 2008) and winning two world and four European titles at senior level. She was named Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year in 2011 and awarded an MBE after becoming world champion, despite losing both her parents to cancer.
She remains an idol for many Taekwondo athletes and the chance to be coached by her was a big thrill for the Quest youngsters.
The session – which featured approximately 40 talented Taekwondo athletes up to the age of 19 from across the country – covered strength and conditioning, tactics, technical work and sparring drills.
At the closing ceremony of the training session, the star awards were presented by Steve Jennings (Great Britain coach), Stevenson and Martin Stamper (fourth for Great Britain in London 2012 Olympics) for those who had particularly impressed.
Stevenson said: “I would like to thank both the instructors and members of Quest Taek-wondo for their support at my recent Inspires Workshops.
“Coaches Rick Simpson and Master McKenzie do an amazing job with their team and it is great to see them all progressing.
“Quest attended with seven of their members and four of them went away with awards for being my ‘stars of the day’.
“I really hope they enjoyed the workshop, learnt a lot and went away inspired.
“I am looking forward to seeing how the seven of them progress over the coming months and also how they develop in the future.”
Jennings added: “The Sarah Stevenson Inspires workshops are an ideal way of preparing yourself for training with the Great Britain Academy – either at cadet (12-13), junior (14-17) or senior (18+) level.
“I’m really impressed with the standard of Great Brit-ain’s upcoming athletes”.
Barnett was recently selected for the Great Britain junior development team and joined up with club-mate Natasha Burdock, from Silsden, for training with them recently.