A team of kickboxers have done a real Italian job - by winning medal against some of the best fighters in the world.
Students from South Shields-based Kuei-Ling were among 5,000 martial art competitiors competing in the Unified World Championships in Tuscany, Italy.
The prestigious contest attracted fighters from as far away as New Zealand, China and South America.
The team, from South Shields were part of the WTKA England Squad, fought in a range of events including full contact kickboxing, K1, light continuous, boxing and also points fighting.
Despite the stiff competition, the Kuei-Ling students fought their way to what coach Steve East has described as an “impressive” medal haul - collectively winning, four gold, six silver and five bronze medals.
Mr East said: “In the run up to the contest those taking part came in for extra training sessions and we also travelled to different clubs so they could spar against other fighters.
“They have all trained extemely hard which has been proven in the impressive medal count. We continue to put South Tyneside on the martial arts map, not just locally and in the Uk but throughout Europe.
“What made this contest even more special is we had a number of young students taking part and they too proved themselves by winning medals.
“The results are a testament to the hard work of both those competing and the coaches we have here at Kuei-Ling.”
Results from the contest:
Milner Sharp won silver and a bronze in the points and light continuous under 32kg categories.
Steve Allen took silver and a bronze in the light continuous and full contact under 75kg categories.
Nicole Wood won bronze in the under 65kg K1 and low kick light continuous categories.
Gareth Longstaff won silver and bronze in the full contact and light contact under 71 kg event.
Zak Thorpe won gold and silver for his points and light continuous under 32kg events.
Andy Hudson won gold in the under 75kg light continuous contest.
Jake Hudson won silver in the team points event, as did Christopher Hudson;
Adam Jenson won gold in the boxing under 60kg and Nathan McCarthy won gold in the under 86kg light continuous event.
The team were supported throughout the contest by family and members of the kickboxing club.
The trip was self-funded and was made possible with the support of companies including NER Refurbishments, Gary Tuck Workshops, Carmeleon Concepts, Hanson Wealth, Approve Mortgage Solutions, JC Maintenance Services, DGR Assessment Solutions and Robertson Construction.
For information on Kuei-Ling kickboxing club based in Maxwell Street, South Shields call 07946 389 945