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Kidderminster Student Wins Silver in European Championships

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A University of Worcester student from Kidderminster has brought home silver for England at the European Karate Championships in Frankfurt.

Sam Thomas who won silver at the European Karate ChampionshipsSam Thomas, 21, took home a trophy in her first international tournament, which was also the first time she has competed abroad.

She told how her recent success has built her confidence for future international competitions.

Sam competed in the advanced womens Kata a non-combat form of karate, in which competitors perform patterns of karate movements and are marked on their power, speed and style.

It was nerve-wracking to start with and the waiting is often worse, she said.

As soon as you start and the adrenaline kicks in its fine and then you get off and its a blur.

My coach was putting his thumbs up saying Id got a good score.

I thought Id done okay, but I didnt expect to get silver.

It was an amazing feeling, it was brilliant.

She said she really enjoyed the camaraderie, with England teammates from other clubs cheering her on.

Sam, who is a 2nd Dan black belt, now automatically qualifies for the World Championships in Orlando in September.

But she said the cost of getting there, alongside wanting to do it with her teammates, might make it impossible.

Instead her focus is on the Premier International Open in Aliba, Spain in October.

She took up martial arts aged 4, but this was her first time in the national squad.

Sam, who is a member of the Kidderminster-based Young Gloves Karate club and trains six days a week, has just completed her degree in Physical Education & English at the University of Worcester.

She said University staff had been supportive and had pointed her towards financial support that the University can offer to budding athletes.

It was thanks to a £300 scholarship from the University of Worcester that Sam was able to make the trip to Frankfurt.

She is due to graduate from the University of Worcester this autumn and has a place secured on a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Worcester for next year, to train as a Primary School teacher.

Sam, who teaches karate twice a week, said she would love to combine her love of teaching and karate in her career.