YOUNGSTERS at a Bury martial arts club surprised themselves when they won a string of titles and medals in their first year of competition.

Novas Martial Arts Academy only entered four tournaments to give the children experience of what it is like to compete.

But they ended the year with a British champion, four grand champions and a number of first, second and third-place finishes.

Chloe Riley, Coby Ross, Ryan Dunleavy and Jake Abbott won grand championships, 15-year-old Dylan Quinn became British champion, and Lexie Clark, Jake Abbott and Macie Howarth all finished first at tournaments.

One of the coaches at the Bolton Street club, which teaches kickboxing, karate and self defence inspired by traditional jujitsu, Jamie Clark, also won the Bury Sports Award for voluntary contributions to sport.

Coach Lewis Clark said: "Last year was our children's first year of doing competitions, and being a new club we went to four mainstream competitions with the intention of giving them experience of what it would be like to attend, and a chance to have a go without any expectations of winning medals or trophies.

"However, we came away with an English champion, four grand champions and numerous first, second and third places.

"For a new team this is amazing, as it can be extremely nerve-wracking, especially for those who have never seen a competition let alone attended."