A TALENTED Taekwondo student from Barrhead won gold at a nationwide martial arts competition.

Eight-year-old Lauren Kee, who has only been practising the sport for two years, scooped the top prize at the International Taekwondo Federation Scottish Championships in Motherwell on April 9.

The Carlibar Primary pupil is a member of the I-Kick Martial Arts club which amassed a total of nine medals at its first ever Scottish Championships appearance at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility where 504 competitors represented 32 clubs from all over the country.

As well as the gold she picked up for her pattern routine, Lauren also won silver and bronze in the sparring and special technique categories respectively.

She has added her latest awards to an already impressive haul of honours which now comprises five golds, one silver and four bronze medals.

Though she has only been studying Taekwondo for a couple of years, Lauren hopes to become an instructor herself one day and often helps out at I-Kick Martial Arts’ classes for four to five-year-olds where younger brother Jackson is a member.

Lauren’s mum Sharon revealed just how much her daughter enjoys taking to the mats and said: “She had a free trial in school and loved it.

“She’s obsessed with it and wants to go every day. My wee boy thinks he’s a ninja turtle and she tries to push him but he’s just not as interested.”

Lauren was joined by fellow I-Kick Martial Arts members Zak Gilmour, aged eight, Lewis Millan, 10, and 12-year-old Cameron Patterson in becoming a Scottish champion.

Having won four golds, three silvers and two bronze medals at the Scottish Championships, the club’s recent achievements are made all the more remarkable given that it has only been running since 2014.

Head coach Ross Penman praised the students for their hard work and credited the continued support the club receives from a core of dedicated parents.

He said: “We’re a very family oriented club which is great and it showed at the weekend. All the parents come along and create a really good atmosphere at the venues for us.

“I’m very proud to see Lauren and the other students achieving success given that we’re such a young club.”

Based at St Andrew’s Church on Ralston Road, I-Kick Martial Arts is always on the lookout for new members to join its Taekwondo and kickboxing classes which run on Wednesday and Friday nights.

For more information about the club, call 07429502254 or email info@i-kickmartialarts.co.uk.