What's Happening in Sunderland blog

Sunderland’s very own karate kid’s has a Japanese dream

Black belt Jamie O’Donnell may still be a teenager, but he can certainly pack a wallop.

The 13 year old Sunderland local has already won an amazing 37 awards at both regional and national Karate competitions. Jamie was just six years old when he won his first award and works hard to fit four training sessions a week in alongside his school and study timetable.

Jamie is preparing to take his 1st Dan and has been offered the incredible “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to fight for team GB in Japan.

Jamie’s proud mum Audrey Colling, 33, said: “It’s such a big achievement. He’s done fantastically well to get into the team. Although he’s been doing it for quite a long time, there was a lot of competition to get into the team. We’re all so proud of him.”

Unfortunately, the fantastic opportunity is expensive and Jamie and his family are struggling to raise the necessary £1,500 to £2,000 for his travel and accommodation costs.

Audrey continued: “It is a lot of money to raise. We’ve put in for grants, but haven’t heard anything back yet. We’ve organised a couple of fund-raisers and we’ve been given tremendous support by his school. We just want to make sure he can take part in the competition.

“We’re hoping that if there is anyone out there who can help, any businesses or individuals, then they will get in touch with us. Next time it comes round, he may be too old to take part. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him.”

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