Building up a Scots-Asia connection!

Scott Miller, Gary Miller, Callum White, Hayden Murray,  Nicole Kilgallon, Cameron Robertson, Kade Quinn and Amy Harris
Scott Miller, Gary Miller, Callum White, Hayden Murray, Nicole Kilgallon, Cameron Robertson, Kade Quinn and Amy Harris
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Pupils young and old are excelling in the far eastern discplines of martial arts.

And one in particular - the appropriately named Asia Bailey - has made history.

Picture: Asia Bailey in the German Taekwondo Open 2012

Picture: Asia Bailey in the German Taekwondo Open 2012

The Larbert teenager has become the first-ever Scottish fighter to be selected for the British National Team at the World Junior Taekwondo Championships.

Aged 14, she’s the only player from north of the border to make the seven-strong squad, which will participate in the ninth edition of the WTF Junior World Championships in Egypt in April.

She’s been helped by her dad, and coach, Master David Bailey, and has been picked after just nine months training in the Olympic form of the martial art.

He said: “I am so proud of Asia. She is completely dedicated to her training and it’s great to see all her hard work paying off. To be going to the World Championships of an Olympic sport in an Olympic year is incredibly exciting.”

Asia, now at Larbert High School, has been practising since she was four years old, with her mum and dad dedicated to the sport and in charge at the Central Academy in Carronshore.

“To be going to the World Championships is a dream come true. I was really happy to be part of the GB Squad but getting selected for such a big event is unbelievable,” she said.

This year’s junior world championship is in Egypt and expected to attract 700 athletes from 97 countries.

Asia has also been involved in the Scottish National Team Development Squad and Scottish Elite Squad.

She’ll begin two weeks of intense preparation at the Olympic Academy, training alongside the London 2012 Olympic Team.

She also competed at the German Open in Hamburg last weekend, reaching the final 16 and defeated the British Open champion Kristin Koppe from Germany. The Dutch Open in Eindhoven is next for the youngster this weekend.

Asia’s not the only martial artist marking their sporting careers’ acheivement.

Holly Martin (left) took a goal and silver medal at the Icelandic Open karate championships.

Competitors in the junior events of the UK Tae Kwon Do federation Scottish championships in Grangemouth were all handed a participation medal, while the home-grown Scottish men’s senior team won their event against two squads of fighters from Ireland.

Other gold medals included - Scottish pattern: Richard McKinlay, Nicole Brown, Liz McKenna (gold).

Scottish sparring: Owen Rodgers, Katie Anne Binnie, Jessica Donachie, Jordan Hornall, Gaynor Scott, Nicole Brown, Liz McKenna, David Donaldson (gold).

Special Technique: Owen Rodgers (gold).

Grangemouth also played host to the Falkirk and district judo championships at the weekend.

A team from Hallglen’s Azami judo club had eight medallists from ten entrants.

Red belts Cameron Robertson, Amy Harris and Kade Quinn took bronze, while Nicole Kilgallon and Callum White were second.

The under-16s, Hayden Murray, Scott Miller and Gary Miller had to fight hard for their medals.

Gary’s gold, Scott’s silver and Hayden’s bronze made coaches Gregor and Neil Gardner extremely proud.