Karate champion Andrew is bidding for World Championship glory

A KARATE champion from Ballymoney is bidding for world glory.

Andrew Mills (19), of Kilraughts Road, will travel to the Echo Arena in Liverpool on September 28/29 to compete in the Shotokan Karate Association Championships which will see hundreds of people compete from around the globe.

Andrew told the Times: “I am looking forward to the World Championships and it will be great to compete with the best in the world. This is the real pinnacle of the sport.”

Andrew took part in the world championships in Chicago two years ago when he came 9th but his ambition this time is to get in the medals ... the top three.

Also travelling to the World Championships with Andrew will be brother and sister Zacharry and Yasmin Geddis from Coleraine and Aidan O’Boyle from Kilrea.

Andrew only took up the sport seven years ago at the age of 12 but already has achieved success in Ireland and has obtained a Black Belt, is now a 2nd Dan, and has his instructor’s qualification and is now coaching in the sport despite his relatively young age.

He has won the Irish Championships three times and obtained a second in the Great Britain Grand Slam.

In fact Andrew has now set up his own classes at the Joey Dunlop Centre, which start early in September and will be held every Friday between 7-8pm.

If you would like to join the karate club in Ballymoney, contact Andrew on 07999399458.

Martial arts has always been very popular in north Antrim with all disciplines in the sport having many followers.

Other clubs like that which Alan Ashcroft is involved in are doing well in the sport.

Also, in mixed martial arts, Bushmills’ own Norman Parke is currently doing great stuff and has already fought in America and has had worldwide tv exposure.

North Antrim MLA Paul Frew recently met Norman and said: “Meeting Norman was an absolute pleasure. He is a gentleman, a top class athlete dedicated to his trade. An unassuming, polite guy who is candid in his assessment of the difficulties facing the sport he loves. The north Antrim mixed martial arts athlete has achieved so much to date. Winning The Ultimate Fighter ‘Smashes’ series has hurled him in to the big time.”