Swaffham kickboxer receives council grant for world championship bid

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A Swaffham kickboxer has been given a grant that will help him to take on the world later this year.

Thomas Oldridge is one of three competitors to received awards from the Breckland Council’s Gifted and Talented grants programme.

The 25-year-old has been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Martial Arts Games in Florida.

He is currently a third dan black belt and undefeated in 15 contests.

He also runs and teaches at Tom’s Kickboxing Academy in Shipdham, where the other grant recipients, Scott Gibbons and Bonnie Chamberlin, also train.

Each of them has been awarded £500 to assist with costs of attending the championships in September, such as flights and accommodation.

Swaffham councillors Shirley Matthews and Paul Darby said: “It is a fantastic achievement for a local academy to have so many members competing at such a high level.

“We wish Mr Oldridge and all those competing every success in Florida.”

The grant applications were also supported by senior officials from the National Martial Arts Committee of Great Britain, after their selection for the British team was confirmed.

The council’s grant programmes are run through the Norfolk Community Foundation.