KEIGHLEY’S Yvie-Ling Hegarty, who has gone from taekwondo beginner to a world champion in just three years, has been named Young Sportswoman of the Year in the Bradford Sporting Awards at Life Centre Events.

The Beanland Taekwondo School member travelled to the ITFU World Championships in Argentina last October and won gold in sparring and silver in patterns, matching her efforts in the European Championships in Poland that April.

Yvie-Ling, 13, and a pupil at Beckfoot Oakbank School, explained how she started in taekwondo: “Two of my friends joined so I decided to go down and I went back as the club was so welcoming and it gave me confidence.

“I had flown to Poland, Italy and Holland (Rotterdam) before, but Argentina was my first flight outside of Europe.

“Going there to compete was really nerve-wracking, and I wanted it to be an experience, but winning it was more amazing.

“I didn’t think that I would progress so quickly, but without my sponsors and everyone else who has supported me I wouldn’t be where I am today.

“Now I just want to keep training – if I train more I will improve – and get ready for the European Championships in Madrid in October.”

Horizon Taekwondo Academy, which set up a new full-time training centre in Keighley last year, recruiting over 100 new members, won the Amateur Participation Club or Team of the Year Award.

With over 400 students overall in Keighley or Bradford, they give their youngsters a sense of pride and achievement, as well as helping their fitness and self-defence.

Among those who were highly commended on the night were Horizon Taekwondo Academy (Young Club or Team of the Year and Sporting Highlight of the Year), Haworth trials rider Jack Carthy (Sportsman of the Year), athlete Nathan Mitchell (Disability Sportsperson of the Year), Silsden’s legendary stock car family the Wainmans (Amateur Performance by a Club or Team), Cougars (Sustainability Award) and Horizon Taekwondo Academy’s Natalie Simpson-Kidd from Silsden (Coach of the Year).