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Pensioner backs karate kid's bid to be world-class

PUBLISHED: 11:01 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:50 25 August 2010

A PENSIONER has backed a young karate champion who needs to raise enough money to take on the world s best athletes.

A PENSIONER has backed a young karate champion who needs to raise enough money to take on the world's best athletes.

Terry Buggy, 67, read about the plight of 14-year-old Tyrone Briscoe in the Times who faces forfeiting his title if he cannot raise £600 to compete in the World Championships in Poland this September.

The young star is also trying to raise £2,500 to compete at the Seiwaka Gasshuku tournament in Japan in July.

Tyrone, from Erith, has had to overcome heart surgery when he was a baby and endure tendon operations as he grew up, even training with casts on his legs in a bid to reach the top of his sport.

Mr Buggy's children, Andrew, now 34 and Steven, 37, learnt Karate as youngsters at Lamorbey Leisure Centre, Sidcup and the Boys' Brigade Hall, Bexleyheath.

Mr Buggy, of Montrose Avenue, Sidcup, said: "Reading what Tyrone has been through, yet still managing to become a black belt World Champion, is inspiring.

"To keep going you cannot admire him enough for that. I wish I could fund his tournaments but I will give what I can because he is a role model."

Mr Buggy said that he enrolled his children in karate classes because his youngest son Andrew, then aged five, was getting picked on at school for wearing glasses.

He added: "After two weeks of lessons he wasn't getting bullied anymore, that's for sure. It gave him the confidence to stick up for himself. We never had any problems afterwards.

"Karate is a fantastic sport, it builds respect for others and respect for authority.

"You don't argue with the Sensei (instructor). I ended up doing the sport myself because it was something I could do with my children.

"I would like to see funding from Sport England and more government initiatives to fund martial arts, because they have a positive influence on the younger generation."

Tyrone Briscoe's Sensei, Marie Tanabalan, said that Karate receives no government funding due to the splintered nature of the sport's governing bodies. Rivalry between the various disciplines has led each governing body to look after its own interests.

She added: "As a result it's the athletes who suffer and parents face a tough choice about which tournaments to fund.

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