A YOUNG karate champion selected for the England National Karate team is having to fundraise just to be able to get to the Senior European Championships held in May.

Kelly Horsfall, 21, who is studying Fashion Design and Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University, has already raised £420 out of the £700 needed to get to the championship through her fundraising page.

Miss Horsfall has won numerous medals and titles yet needs to raise the money to cover the cost of flights, hotels, training and travelling expenses for the competition in Turkey.

Kelly Horsfall Pic credit: Alex Thurston

Karate is currently listed as an unrecognised sport but it was announced in August 2016 that it would feature as a guest sport for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

International Olympic Committee announcement (below) to add karate in 2020 as one of five new sports

“I have always funded myself, with help from my mum and dad, but as I am at university, I had to ask for external help to raise the money.

“I have competed all around the world, in places such as Germany, Poland and Sweden. All these trips have been paid for by myself and my parents. Karate has always been a self-funded sport,” said Miss Horsfall.


Another karate champion, Jade Miller from Yorkshire, is trying to hold down full-time employment alongside training to compete at World Karate Federation events and possible selection at the Olympics.

She said: “Unfortunately karate has never been funded, particularly in England it lacks recognition compared to France, Spain and a variety of other countries around the world.

“Even with the Olympic selections, Great Britain is appearing behind the rest of the countries as they have already begun to select their athletes and possible team. Team GB will not be decided until mid-way through 2018.

“I was hoping that the sport now being in the Olympics would raise the arts profile in England however this doesn’t appear to be the case.

“The profile of the sport is being raised globally but not really in the UK.”

The European Karate Federation Championships will be held in Kocaeli, Turkey, from May 4 – 7.

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