A MARTIAL arts student from the Forest is being celebrated across the UK after winning gold at every major competition she entered last year, including the World Championships.

Kayla McBryde, aged 12 and from Blakeney, competed in five major championships organised by Tae Kwon Do Association of Great Britain (TAGB) in 2023, and made history by coming away with gold medals in sparring at every single one.

Kayla, who also helped England to fourth place at the World Championships for adaptive abilities cheerleading in the USA last summer, won golds for sparring at the Welsh Championships, the English Championships, and the British Championships; and for tag-team sparring at the Scottish Championships and the World Championships, which takes place every three years.

Her achievements last year are even more special with the TAGB celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Dean Academy student Kayla is a member of Blakeney & Lydney Tae Kwon Do, which is managed by instructor Paula Webb.

Paula was full of praise for Kayla’s performances and said: “I'm not even sure she realises what a huge achievement she has accomplished."

People from the Tae Kwon Do community around the UK have congratulated Kayla on her achievements, with TAGB member Dale Pollard commenting: “This is TAGB history, in many years she can tell her family she was the only one that won gold in all major competitions, including the Worlds, in the 40th anniversary year."

Her dad Adrian said: “Kayla loves the sport, her friends at the club and the people she meets in every competition, not to forget her tag-team friends from other clubs around the UK.

“Thank you Paula Webb, we are so lucky to have an amazing coach in the small village we live and train in.”

Other successes by club students include 14 year-old Oliver Varley, who took part in a black belt grading alongside 550 other students from around Great Britain.

Not only did he pass his grading and earn his 1st dan black belt, he was one of only four students to receive a ‘best in grading’ award.

Kayla’s twin brother Kyle also came away with golds for sparring in the British Championships and for tag-team sparring in the Scottish Championships, along with a silver medal at the Worlds for tag-team.

And as well as having champions in other competitions this year, the club gained another three new black belt 1st dans, one new 2nd dan and instructor Paula also achieved her 5th dan this year.