Two students from York Elite represented England at the international KUGB karate Grand Slam event and took to the podium with two bronze medals.

Following successful selections into the KUGB England squad in January, Cayleigh McCartney (23) and Carolina Alvarez Odell (14) fought for England against competitors from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the international Grand Slam event.

Fighting for the first time at an international level, teenager Carolina Alvarez Odell put on a courageous performance in the Juniors Kumite category and fought her way into third position during the combat element of karate.

Fellow York Elite student and England teammate, Cayleigh McCartney, who first joined the national squad in 2014, achieved a bronze medal following intensive rounds in the competitive Senior Ladies Kumite event.

The York Elite wins follow a string of successes for the York-based team, following four England squad selections and a Silver medal at the WUKF Liverpool Open Senior Ladies kumite and two Gold medals at the KUGB National Student and Youth Championships.

The team also celebrates student Heather Smith (15), who achieved her blackbelt following four years spent training at the club.

Chief Instructor Rob McCartney commented on the team’s successes: “2024 is off to a flying start for our students, and every win represents their incredible determination and resilience.

"The sky is the limit for our competitors, and our York Elite instructors will be supporting them every step, and kick, of the way.”