A 14-YEAR-OLD from Brighton has become the kickboxing champion for her age group.
Young Shaina Mack, from Bevendean, brought home the world title in K1 Thai Kickboxing from the World Championships in Orlando, Florida.
She said: “I had an amazing time.
“I wouldn’t have been able to get there without the funding from Starr Trust.
“It was really exciting.
“I’m so happy that I won and glad to have made my gym and family and friends proud.”
Shaina first got the bug when her mother Gemma tried some kickboxing classes back in 2012.
At the age of just 10, Shaina enjoyed watching her mother and then fell in love with the sport herself.
She joined a kickboxing club but after a couple of years moved across to the more combative K1 Thai kickboxing.
For the past two years she has been training three to four hours every evening after school at Crawley Martial Arts Academy.
Her hard work and obvious talent paid off in April this year when she was crowned British Champion at the National Championships in Birmingham.
This meant she was eligible to represent Britain at the Unified World Championships in the USA with the rest of the England Squad.
But her mother was struggling to find the funds to get Shaina there.
Gemma set up a crowdfunding page where family and friends could make donations but the costs of competition entry plus travel for Shaina and her coach were still too high.
She then approached the Starr Trust charity in July and was thrilled when they awarded Shaina £2,000 to help get her to Florida.
Shaina’s dream to compete in the World Championships had become a reality.
Nicole Carman, from the Starr Trust, told Youth in Action: “We are absolutely delighted and incredibly proud that Shaina has won the world title.
“She is such a lovely, dedicated and talented young person and is so deserving of the award.
“We couldn’t be happier for Shaina and her family and are just so pleased that we were able to help her to realise her dream”.
The Starr Trust supports youngsters aged 10 to 18 living in the BN postcode area to fulfil their potential in sports, arts and education by providing a helping hand to achieve their goals at a time when they really need it.
To read more about Shaina and the other young people who are helped by the Starr Trust, go to starrtrust.com.