WYRE Forest Taekwondo Club has named Manuela Birchley as their student of the year 2018 for its Bewdley school.

The mum trains regularly three times a week, arriving early each session to help other students and to put in extra practise herself.

At the start of 2018, Manuela expressed an interest in becoming an instructor and joined the club’s instructor development program.

She excelled in this role, having a flair at working with children who have extra needs. Regularly putting in additional hours to support the club, Manuela was asked to have a more permanent role in teaching the younger members of the club during the Saturday morning family sessions.

Manuela entered her first tournament this year, the Kemp Hospice Charity Championships which was attended by several clubs in the region. Here she took a bronze medal in the patterns division and won a gold medal for a musical pattern she performed with her daughter and training buddy Mia.

Top technician Manuela has had outstanding grading results from her first to her penultimate coloured belt grading. She is now in training for her black tag grade, the last before she will head to the national academy in Bristol to attempt her black belt.

Instructor Katie Billingham said: “Each year I try and chose the student who best exemplifies the qualities that a good martial artist should have. Manuela not only excels in all areas, but her attitude always remains humble and thirsty for knowledge and improvement. She is an excellent student and has been an invaluable support to the club over the last year.”

With a busy year ahead, the club is now in preparation for gradings, competitions and courses. For more information please contact instructor Katie Billingham on 07885 293088 or visit wyreforesttaekwondo.com