A nine-year-old from the borough has been awarded a black belt in mixed martial arts after going through three years’ training.
Lottie Rhodes, from Monkseaton, has been training at East Coast Kickboxing and Karate Academy (ECKA) to gain the black belt, but was devastated when she found out she would miss the belt giving ceremony.
Her mum Lesley said: “To have passed her black belt test at only nine is incredible, but she was so upset that she wouldn’t be able to attend the official belt presentation as she was in the midst of filming for a CBBC children’s drama.
“Her instructor Steph Young has inspired her to do the best in everything she does and to respect everyone around her, which I believe has helped her through so much and made her as confident as she is.”
Steph arranged for a special presentation for Lottie to receive her black belt.