Jess adds to medal haul at British Open

Jess in action webA PRIESTLEY College student has added to her medal haul with victories in the SKU British Open Karate Tournament.

Jess Bate, who studies PE, collected the 16 and over, Black Belt title in the championships on November 10.

She also took home two team golds and another individual winners’ medal in the competition held in Sheffield.

The latest wins will be added to her tally of 85 other medals and 40 titles at various levels.

“In the past I have lost points because I have not thought clearly during competition, but during the SKU championships I kept calm and it worked,” said Jess.

“When I entered my first competition I really didn’t know what I was doing and was just terrified of falling over. One of the great things is seeing how much my confidence has grown and now I can see myself improving in between competitions.”

Jess, from Orford, won her first ever tournament when she was just 11 and her achievements have not stopped since.

She is one of only a handful of 3rd Dan black belts at her age in the country and earlier this year won bronze in the European Championships.

Nigel Howells, Head of Sport at Priestley College, said the 17-year-old demonstrated all the qualities required to succeed at a high level.

Jess with her protégé Lucy Clarke, 14.
Jess with her protégé Lucy Clarke, 14.

“Jess is determined to succeed and dedicated to achieving her goals, which is half the battle,” he said.

“She is also very talented and is representing herself, Warrington and the college every time she steps out onto the mat.”

Alongside her PE A Level – in which she is on course to achieve an A* – Jess is studying Law, Psychology and the Extended Project at Priestley and is aiming to pursue a degree in Sports Science at Loughborough.

Back in Warrington she is coaching some of the town’s finest young karate prospects at SKC Woolston.

Her guidance not only includes technique, but also good sportsmanship and the kind of discipline essential in martial arts.

“My next goal is for the kids at the club to really understand the principles of Sport Karate,” she said. “I can see them getting better during lessons and I get a real buzz from that.”

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