Two aspiring Taekwondo champions are on their way to the European Championships after receiving a donation from Darlington Building Society.
Jazz Kelly, 16, and Lewis Healy, 13 – two cousins from Redcar in North Yokshire – have received a £100 donation from the building society’s community fund to help cover the cost of entrance fees, equipment, transportation and accommodation for when they travel to Greece to receive their first international caps for England.
As part of its 160th anniversary celebrations, the society has pledged support to 160 local causes including sport, arts and charities.
Melanie Winton, customer sales assistant at the Redcar branch of Darlington Building Society, said: “Darlington Building Society’s community fund is there to support local causes. So when we heard that Jazz and Lewis needed funding to take that next step towards international success we were only too happy to help.
“Both Jazz and Lewis are doing Redcar proud, and I’m sure they will do the country proud when they represent England at the Championships. It’s great to be able to support them in the early stages of their international careers.
“We look forward to seeing their careers flourish, and we wish them all the best at the Championships.”
Christopher Black, who coaches at the North East Schools of Taekwondo (NEST), Teesside, where Jazz and Lewis train five nights per week, said the pair are potential European, world and Olympic champions of the future.
“Jazz is unbeaten in a competitive bout for two years, and currently holds five gold medals nationally, including the British title, while Lewis is the current Scottish Open Champion, so they both stand a good chance of bringing home medals.
“Unfortunately, ITF Taekwondo is not a national sport in the UK, which means it does not receive national funding. It would be a travesty if we could not give Jazz and Lewis the best possible chance, so we are extremely grateful to businesses such as Darlington Building Society for their ongoing support.”