Earby karate kid Jack to represent country

15-year-old Jack Cooper who has been selected for the England karate team.'Photo Ben Parsons
15-year-old Jack Cooper who has been selected for the England karate team.'Photo Ben Parsons

An Earby teenager has had his dreams realised by being chosen to represent his country at a karate championships.

Budding martial arts maestro Jack Cooper (15), of Colne Road, will represent England at the World Union of Karate-Do Federations (WUKF) Karate European Championship tournament which is being held in Sheffield this weekend.

Jack, who trains at Skipton Karate Club twice a week for four hours, also attends the England squad sessions every fortnight in Warrington where his potential has been spotted by coaches.

Brown belt Jack went to the national championships last year in a lower category and came home with a gold medal.

This year, he has stepped up an age group, and is competing against people up to three years older than him.

At 6ft. 3in. and with a powerful kick up to 7ft. in the air, Jack is regarded as having the potential to become a European Champion but has been entered into this year’s tournament for experience.

His proud dad John said: “He has been going to martial arts since he was five and he’s done very well. We are really pleased. I think we’re a bit apprehensive too.

“He has had a few disappointments this year as we are used to winning. It has been a big step up. I’m not sure how well he’ll do in this tournament but I think the experience will do him good for next year.

“It’s a knockout tournament. If the points go your way, you never know. If we’re still there on finals day on Sunday, I’ll be thrilled.

“He’s excited. It’s the first time in about 20 years the championships have been in this country so I think he had been hoping to go abroad!”