FOUR karate students from York Elite have been selected to represent their country in the KUGB England Kumite Squad.

Following an intensive selection process held at the University of Liverpool, the four students, Carolina Alvarez Odell (14), Eleanor Poels (17), Cayleigh McCartney (23) and Spike Marriott (24), have all been individually selected to represent England in the combat element of karate.

Based at the York Railway Institute and the Centre at Burnholme, the four selections follow a string of recent wins for the powerful York Elite karate team, including a Silver medal for Eleanor Poels at the WUKF Liverpool Open Senior Ladies kumite and two Gold medals for Eleanor Poels and Cat Morris at the KUGB National Student and Youth Championships.

The England squad welcomes back junior competitor Eleanor Poels and senior competitor Cayleigh McCartney, who have both represented the team since 2020 and 2014 respectively.

Carolina and Spike will join the team following impressive individual performances in the junior and senior categories during the rigorous selection process.

The selected squad members will go on to attend multiple England squad training sessions throughout the year, compete at two Grand Slam competitions against fighters from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and will have the chance to be selected for European and World championships.

Chief Instructor Rob McCartney was proud of the efforts from York Elite, saying: “The talent and determination coming out of York Elite is unbelievable and I had every faith in the four when they headed off to Liverpool for squad selection.

"Whether they’re representing York or England, Carolina, Eleanor, Cayleigh and Spike have always been known for giving it their all, and we cannot wait to see what they achieve in 2024.

"The whole York Elite team are rooting for them.”

Under the tuition of Chief Instructor Rob McCartney and Kumite Instructor Harry Cuddy, the York Elite karate club provides traditional Shotokan karate training for all ages and skill levels.

The York-based club trains on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and is currently welcoming new members to its sessions.

For more information on York Elite Karate and to try a beginner session for free, click here.