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Ellie Keenan, the martial arts star at just 11 years of age

MEET Ellie Keenan – British gold medal martial artist at just 11 years of age.

The John O’Gaunt School pupil’s journey towards excelling in the world of martial arts began when she was five years old.

Ellie Keenan
Ellie Keenan
Ellie in action
Ellie in action

Ellie made her international debut on the world stage just two years later at the TYGA World Open Martial Arts Competition at Crystal Palace in London, winning a remarkable bronze medal in the Kata discipline.

She has demonstrated unwavering commitment and exceptional skill in karate and Taekwondo, ever since.

After winning medals at national level in Norwich and Leicester, Ellie was chosen to represent Great Britain at the World Martial Arts Games in Florida, US, in July.

Attending the TYGA World event in both 2022 and this summer, she has won a total of two gold medals, and four bronze medals in both karate and Taekwondo.

Representing the National Martial Arts Committee of Great Britain also secured a silver medal in Kumite, a testament to her adaptability and determination to excel in multiple disciplines.

Ellie received her junior black belt in karate last December and is learning the traditional discipline of incorporating weapons in martial arts – the long ‘Bo staff,’ and nunchucks.

Ellie said she wanted to thank the patience and guidance of Matt Ward in karate and the encouragement of her Taekwondo instructor, Master Mark Ogbourne of P.U.M.A Newbury, as well as the support of her parents.

Her mother, Karen Keenan, said: “Ellie’s success serves as a testament to her innate talent, but also the countless hours she devotes to her training.

“Her commitment to her craft serves as an inspiration to both her peers and those who follow her journey.

“She is a shining example of what can be accomplished through dedication and hard work.

“With a passion for discipline, dedication, and determination, she’s already reached a stage many aspiring martial artists can only dream of.”

John O’Gaunt School headteacher Richard Hawthorne said: “We’re immensely proud of Ellie – she’s an absolute star, but so humble with it.

“She is such a positive, caring and upbeat student, and her general attitude, ambition and dedication shines through at school too – she is always on task.

“We’re supporting her and cheering Ellie on, every step of the way.”

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