Family values for Anna as she joins exclusive black belt club

Anna Penketh
Anna Penketh

A nine year old martial arts-mad girl from Bircotes is celebrating after becoming the latest member of her family to join the exclusive Black Belt club.

Anna Penketh has been awarded her black belt in Karate just four years after taking up the sport.

She follows in the footsteps of her mother Angela, who has recently retired from the sport having started back in 1983 and elder brother and sister Daniel and Lesley.

Now officially one of the youngest black belts in the Yorkshire Karate Association, Anna attends lessons twice a week at Bircotes Leisure Centre, operated by BPL.

Anna said: “I really enjoy my Karate lessons and I am very happy to have been able to get my black belt. I really enjoy the lessons and have made lots of friends there.”

Anna’s mother Angela added: “I am ever so proud of Anna, she is the youngest in our family to have achieved her black belt. What is remarkable is that it’s only taken Anna four years to accomplish the nine other belts on the road to the black after picking up the sport aged five.”

Anna will now continue to train and head towards her second Junior Dan which involves more in-depth grading and self defence techniques.

Nicola North, facility manager for Bircotes Leisure Centre, said: “Anna is a breath of fresh air and I look forward to seeing her and the family every Wednesday.”

“They have been attending the venue for just over eight years and are firmly part of our sporting community here at the site. Anna is definitely one for the future - watch this space!” Anna’s younger sister Lauren (7) is just preparing for her purple and white belt before heading on to her own black also aged just nine.