A YOUNG martial arts fanatic has been made a black belt after four years rigorous training.

Canvey’s Mia Sheedy was graded a 1st dan black belt by sensei McLuskey sixth dan and sensei Cheri Stokes fifth dan after a weekend training course at the Phoenix Dojo at Charfleets Estate.

Eleven-year-old Mia took up karate when she was seven with a group of youngsters but, as many of the others stopped training over time, she continued training hard.

“Mia has worked very hard to achieve her black belt and fully deserves this achievement which is fantastic at this young age,” said her instructor Cheri Stokes.

“Although, Mia is very talented she had to work very hard to be eligible to grade as I don’t intend to give out black belts like sweets. Being a black belt is an achievement and the benefits stay with you for life.”

The instructor added she hoped Mia’s success would act as a springboard for others.

“We are anticipating that all the children, as well as teenagers and adults, will look to see what Mia has achieved and focus on their training to emulate Mia’s achievement.”

Anyone interested in karate can take part in centres at Corringham Sports Centre, Rayleigh Leisure Centre, Basildon Sporting Village, Eversley Sports Centre, Southend Tennis Centre, Shoeburyness Leisure Centre, Waterside Farm Sports Centre and Phoenix dojo.

Otherwise call 01268 681927 or 07884 028969.