A superfit St Helens schoolboy has been crowned double world champion at the International Sport Kickboxing Association’s World Championships in Cyprus.
Bleak Hill Primary pupil Jonathon Vaughan, who trains at the Shining Light Centre in Sutton Manor, has been a member of the England team since he was just six.
Now aged eight, the pocket dynamo was already the reigning North West Warriors Champion and British Champion and won the Kwon Grand Slam Championship Belt before jetting off to Cyprus.
But to finish the year with not one but two world titles was beyond his wildest dreams!
Fighting in the -30kg U12s, Jonathon battled his way through to the final of the points and continuous categories in fine style, despite being the youngest member of the England team.
He then struck gold in each category, picking up the nickname “ginger ninja” along the way.
His dad Rob said: “Jonathon started kickboxing five years ago as he was too young to join football or rugby clubs. I’m very proud of him. He’s doing really well and as long as he’s enjoying himself - that’s the main thing.”
Jonathon’s coach, 6th Dan black belt Dave Hughes, who is set to be inducted into the Martial Arts Illustrated hall of fame, said: “Jonny is a shining example of the type of dedication and hard work we expect from our students. Before leaving for Cyprus he had a gruelling eight-week training programme which, as well as training five times a week, involved additional running, swimming, skipping, core body training and stretching.
“He also had to give up all sweets, cakes, crisps, fast food and fizzy drinks.”
To find out more, search for “Hughes Shorai St Helens” on Facebook or call 07834 779792.