A 13-YEAR-OLD Stacksteads student has been crowned world kickboxing champion for her age, and weight.

Shannon Bacon was awarded two gold medals at the International Sport Kickboxing Association’s World Championships, in Cyprus, after previously winning silver at the championships in Canada, and bronze in Portugal.

Shannon was a member of a 14-strong squad from Alf Love’s Blackbelt Academy, in Stacksteads, who attended the contest.

There were 90 fighters in the England squad, and 14 countries took part, including Jamaica, Scotland, Hungary, Iran, Turkey, Italy and Germany.

The Fearns Community Sports College student, who has been kickboxing for five years, said: “I was competing in the 13 to 17-year-olds class for under 40kg.

“I had to fight a girl who was younger, but heavier than me, and a girl who was older, but I beat them both.

“At first, on points, I didn’t realise I had won until my trainer, Scott Love, threw me into the air.

“My mum, Tracy, came with me and she was so pleased she was crying.

“In semi-contact, the girl I was fighting only lasted halfway through the first round before she had to stop because she couldn’t carry on.

“I’m really pleased with how well I did, and I hope to carry on when I’m older.”

Her younger brother Tejay, 10, was her inspiration to start kickboxing, and he also won two gold medals in Cyprus.

Shannon, who is a junior instructor at the club, said: “Kickboxing keeps me fit, and I have made loads of friends and we are all really close, just like a big family.

“I was cheering everyone on so much, I ended up losing my voice.”

Nigel Fagg, the academy’s secretary, said: “This was yet another excellent performance from the academy’s fighters, who have trained exceptionally hard leading up to the championships.

“As a result of their efforts, they’ve continued the academy’s long-established tradition in producing world champion kickboxers.”

Besides Shannon and Tejay, other kickboxers from the academy, Shannon Priestley, Kian Grenfell and Ryan Grenfell won two gold medals each, while Charlotte Fagg, Harry Hart and Lee Grenfell won single golds.