Monday, 14 May 2012
A young kickboxer has been awarded a £750 scholarship to assist him in competing at the World Kickboxing and Karate Association Championships in Orlando, Florida.
Second year Tim Hannah has already represented England at World Championship events as a junior in 2009 and as an adult in 2011.
Tim won the bronze medal in each for lightweight continuous sparring and ranked 7th in the world for traditional forms in the 2011 championships.
The 20-year-old said: “I started kickboxing just before I turned 16, but my first love was karate. I got my first karate lesson for my fifth birthday and have been hooked ever since, getting my black belt when I was 13. A few years after that I wanted to branch out so I started kickboxing back in Exeter where I'm from.
“Pretty much as soon as I started it up I was thrown into competitions, winning my first gold for continuous sparring in 2008 in the South West Regionals.”
He has held the English and British top spot for cadet, 15 to 17, from 2008 to early 2010 and the top spot for English and British adults in 2010 and 2011.
The accomplished athlete has also recently been competing at a British open near Solihull, Birmingham, in traditional forms and came first in the last two competitions.
The third is in June where he hopes to bring home another gold medal.
Tim, who studies Human Biology at the University of Worcester, intends to continue his kickboxing career after he graduates.
“I've always loved the sport so I can see myself carrying on and hopefully progressing to get my black belt in kickboxing and fingers crossed coming away with the gold at worlds, if not this time then in future ones,” he said.
The scholarship has helped with the financial burden of competing at the top level in his sport and believes other students competing in sports should apply.
“The money is helping me pay for this year’s world championships in September. It's in Orlando, so it's expensive for me to fork out from my own pocket,” he said.
“Essentially the scholarship will pay for my flight, competition entry and a few bits and bobs before I go, like new gloves as my ones now are a little battered.
“I'd definitely encourage others to get involved. It takes such a huge burden off your shoulders looking for other means of financing like sponsors and it just leaves you to concentrate on training and competing.”