FOUR martial arts enthusiasts are celebrating after being selected to represent their country at a major international event.
Carl Jorgeson, Amy Coulson, and youngsters Bailey Reed and Jasmin Langley will all be competing for England at the Wadokai European Championships, in October.
The Hartlepool group will be jetting out to Lisbon, in Portugal, to join the 30-strong karate squad and take on competitors from 20 other countries.
But in order to achieve their dream they need a bit of help to get there as it is going to cost more than £6,000.
Carl and fiancee Amy, both 28, are instructors at the Hartlepool Wadokai Club.
They all qualified via national selections at Birmingham and will be competing in different disciplines.
Blue belt Bailey, 12, who attends Manor College of Technology and lives in the area, said: “It was brilliant to be selected and I am really pleased.
“It is a good reward for our hard work.”
Brown belt Jasmin, 14, who lives in the Burbank area and also goes to Manor school, said: “I wanted to do boxing at first and then my mum suggested I join the club and I have really enjoyed it.
“I was so pleased when I found out I had been selected; my parents were telling everybody.”
The youngsters are training for more than 15 hours a week to prepare.
Carl, who teaches karate full-time, said: “It will cost between £4,000 and £6,000 for the four of us, but we are also taking parents and two referees with us.
“The club will be funding most of the trip, but we need help from any generous individuals or businesses.
“I can guarantee that we will all come back with medals due to the amount of hard work we have all put in.”
As well as running the club, Carl also teaches in primary schools across town.
He thanked Alan White, headteacher at Manor College of Technology, and Hartlepool College of Further Education for their continued support.
Amy, a police community support officer for Durham Police, said: “It should be a fun event and we are all very proud to be representing the club, Hartlepool and our country.”
Amy and Carl have both represented England at World and European level before and last year they competed at the Wado World Championships in Nagoya, Japan, were both of them picked up medals.
The pair, who are both black belts and spent 2008 in Sugito, Japan, doing a karate internship, live in the Oxford Road area.
The club, which is based at the Belle Vue Centre and Owton Manor Primary School, started in 2003 and there are three other instructors, Carl’s parents, Lynne and Michael Jorgeson, and Vince Dawkins.
Hartlepool Wadokai Club holds sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at various schools and sports centres in Hartlepool.
New members are always welcome at the club, which caters for anyone aged five and over.
For more information about the not-for-profit club or to help with the sponsorship call Carl on 07984 798634.