Rising star lights up international stage

editorial image

Hucknall martial arts student Tahya Fells returned from international competition with an arm full of silverware.

The 14-year-old was selected to compete for Great Britain at the Portugal International in Lisbon where she reached new heights.

A team silver, individual bronze and the First Placed Female Dan Trophy all returned with Tahya as she lit up the European stage.

It made the trip all the more worthwhile and brought into sharp focus the lengths self-funded athletes have to go just to be able to compete.

Her dad Paul said: “Tahya almost didn’t make it to the competition after Monarch Airlines went into administration and the replacement flights cost more than double, with this all being self-funded it was an extremely stressful time. However, with some emergency fundraising and a helpful donation from Hucknall’s Cassidy Family Butchers, we were able to get her to the competition and it was totally worthwhile for the stresses.”

Tahya, from Kang Han Martial Arts Centre in Hucknall, was a bright performer from day one, as she competed up in the junior division which will be Tahya’s category in 2018.

It saw Tahya go up against international competitors up to 17 years of age, making the Hucknall teenager the youngest in the division.

Tahya first took to the mat in the team event and they won silver.

“Tahya was then in the individual division,” said Paul. “Tahya was the only Great Britain player who made it into the final, going through to the final in sixth place.

“In the final she made her way up to walk away with a bronze medal, with her successors being 17 and at the top end of the division. This is an amazing achievement.

“Great Britain won the First Place Female Dan Trophy and this was awarded to Tahya from the national coaches, head coach Master Gemma Biescas, Tahya’s national junior coach Master David Bailey and cadet national coach Master Park.

“This finished the weekend off just perfectly.”

And added: “Tahya’s club coach Grand Master Ian Lennox, always tells Tahya he believes in her ability to succeed and upon her return reminded Tahya of his beliefs and is extremely proud of Tahya’s achievements.

“Tahya attends the national academy and although spends many hours training for her sport, her school work does not suffer and Tahya reflects her hard work in her school work as well as her love of her sport.”