In their first England call-up, 13-year-old Elle took Bronze in the Individual Kata and James, who is also 13, came 7th in his Kata competition. Elle was beaten by a Slovakian black belt and an Italian black belt in her final round.
Proud Mum, Mrs Lucy Pasmore, said: “Elle was in first place until the last two competitors, so it was very exciting and extremely nerve racking! She was completely unaware of how well she was doing and when told by the judges she had secured a 3rd place Bronze, she was so happy and extremely emotional.”
Despite fierce competition, which saw him face a number of black belts in his rounds, Third Year James finished a very creditable 7th in Europe.
Elle Pasmore and James Henderson were selected for the National Team by the English United Karate Federation (EUKF). They both competed in the Individual Kata on Saturday 15th October.
They received their England tracksuits at the Kazen Kai Dojo in Hutton, Brentwood, where they both train, and where they were welcomed into the England Team. It is the first time either of them will be competing for England or taking part in such a big competition.
Elle has been learning karate for almost five years and started competing in local competitions two years ago. Proud mum, Mrs Lucy Pasmore said: “Elle loves karate and kick boxing, so much so, she even persuaded me to join kick boxing which we have done together for the last four years; both earning our brown belts and hoping to gain our black belts early next year.
“Elle would have had hers by now, I’m sure, but she wants to wait for me. ‘We started together, we finish together’ is her motto, and I’m very proud of her for that.” Elle is currently a blue belt in Karate and is hoping to grade for her brown stripe in either November or January.
As well as keeping up with her schoolwork, Elle trains for around four or five hours per week at the dojo and also at home every day. Mrs Pasmore added: “I am extremely proud of her dedication and hard work. She could have given up karate but she was determined and now she has achieved the England team, it’s given her so much confidence. She knows if you work hard enough you can achieve anything!
Elle added: “I get a huge sense of achievement learning 3rd Dan black belt katas, competing with them and then walking away with my medals.
“I am very excited about competing and being part of the England team in Italy. I hope to come away with a medal, but I do know it is an extremely hard competition, so if I don’t get one this time I hope to get one next time!”
James took up karate when he was eight-years-old and has been working his way up the rankings. “I have worked my way through the series of belts where I am now currently close to earning my black belt in both karate and kick boxing,” he explained. James trains six days a week for a total of eight hours per week at the Kazen Kai Dojo in Hutton Poplars under the instruction of Sensei Simon Kidd.
“I have been lucky enough to try many sports through School and local clubs, such as football, rugby, skiing, tennis, swimming and more, but karate has been my favourite as it requires being very fit as well as good discipline. I hope following the experience in Italy that I will have many more opportunities to compete at a National and International level,” said James.