GB call for martial arts ace

A GIRL who took up martial arts because she was being bullied is to represent Great Britain at her sport.

Natalie Smith started Tang Soo Do at the age of 11 to improve her self-confidence after she was singled out for rough treatment at primary school.

This October the 18-year-old from Brampton Bierlow will complete a remarkable turn-around when she competes for her country in the 14th World Tang Soo Do Championships in Detroit, USA.

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Natalie, a black belt, said: "At the start I thought would just do it as a hobby but I fell in love with it. To be representing my country eight years later is a massive thing; even I didn't think I would get this far. My family are so proud."

Now a mature and well-rounded individual, Natalie is studying criminology at the University of Huddersfield.

A former pupil at Wath Comprehensive School, she trains at least three times a week, both locally in Rawmarsh, where she first set out seven-and-a-half years ago, and down in Watford, Hertfordshire.

She added: "I am one of 20 people in Great Britain to be taking part and I am honoured to have been selected."

Natalie needs help with funding for her training, kit and travelling expenses for the following months.

Anyone who can help is asked to ring 075455 58581.