CIARAN Harnedy has won his first major Taekwondo title just 18 months after taking up the sport.
The 11-year-old from Chorley won the Welsh Open in Newport and has now set his sights on bigger and better things.
The talented Holy Cross pupil has already caught the attention of national coaches and has been invited to attend the GB Cadet Development Academy.
Ciaran first trained with Eddie Ellison at Chorley Leisure Centre where he was a member for six months.
While London 2012 helped highlight the sport, it was watching a WTK international that really attracted Ciaran to Taekwondo.
“Ciaran got to watch and meet these internationals and that was when he really first began to show an interest in Taekwondo,” said dad Paul.
“He joined Eddie Ellison and learnt a lot there in a short space of time before moving on.”
After spells at Billinge Taekwondo and Wigan Taekwondo, he now trains at clubs across the north of England as he seeks to further his development.
He trains with Grand Master Shin in Manchester and also at Team Ultimate in Armthorpe, Doncaster where many of the Great Britain development squad are based.
And Ciaran, who also occasionally trains at Stoke UTA, has had the chance to learn off the best – having attended a techniques event run by Tony Grisman from the GB Taekwondo Academy and a seminar hosted by Martin Stamper who was fifth in the London 2012 Olympics.
“Ciaran has been invited to attend the GB Development Academy but unfortunately he couldn't make it on this occasion,” added his dad.
“But that is something we will be looking to in the future.”
He is now in training to take part in the Ultimate Open in Sheffield while he will also compete in the British Open in September and the Yorkshire Open in November.