Twins Cuba and Bleu Parris at the MAA LaunchTwins Cuba and Bleu Parris (aged 17) sparring at the CONEL Martial Arts Academy Launch

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London launched its prestigious Martial Arts Academy this week (Monday 27 June 2016) with superb displays of agility and athletic prowess from the members of the England Karate squad at its Enfield Centre. The Martial Arts Academy is the first of its kind and its aim is to provide opportunities to practise martial arts, identify new talent and develop sports opportunities and new experiences for students.

Lead by Academy coach and former World Champion William Thomas, the launch presentation touched on the exciting news for the world of martial arts that Karate is soon to be announced as an Olympic Sport at the Rio 2016 Games. Already invited in as a Paralympic sport, athletes will be able to compete for Olympic gold for the very first time at Tokyo 2020. And where better to do this than in Japan where the sport originated and where Karate is also hugely popular?

“This development for Karate is very exciting”, said William “and means that the sport will grow immensely in popularity as well as funding and sponsorship opportunities.” Talks are underway with iconic sports brand Adidas to sponsor CONEL’s Martial Arts Academy and if successful their logo will be emblazoned on the kit, which is free to Academy members - right next to CONEL’s.

College Vice Principal, Kurt Hintz, described the wide range of Sports Academies already on offer at CONEL make it a first class choice as a Sports College, and the Academies themselves are a “winning formula.”

As with each of the Academies, the Martial Arts Academy is open to students aged 16 – 18, male or female, who have chosen to study a main vocational skills-based course. Essential to their success, emphasis is on the main course and there is no training unless assignments and study are up to scratch. Parents Lloyd Williams, who runs a Karate club in Beckenham called Renshin- Kai Karate Do and Louise Parris, mother of England squad teenagers Cuba and Bleu Parris asked about the opportunities to study A Levels instead of vocational courses.

Kurt explained that the Level 3 extended courses offered by the College are equivalent to A Level study and earn as many UCAS points for university entry. Also, that it was possible to partner with local schools so that some A Level study could be completed at school while also attending the College and Martial Arts Academy.

Suitable for beginners, intermediate level and the elite internationals who visited the launch event alike, the College’s Martial Arts Academy is the only one in the country to offer a Sports Scholarship Programme worth L2,500 for elite athletes in competition.

A previous beneficiary of the unique CONEL Programme is Judo champion Prisca Awiti-Alcaraz who used much of the generous funding for expert sports massage to ensure she stayedin great condition and avoided injury.

Members of the England Karate Squad and CONEL Martial Arts Academy coaches who took part in the demonstrations were: Carla Burkitt. Georgina Lawson, Jordan Thomas (coach), Bleu Parris, Cuba Parris, Katie Hurry, Ben Storey, Brendan Jewell and William Thomas (head coach).

The first trials for the Academy take place on Wednesday 27 July 2016.

To register and to find out more about the CONEL Martial Arts Academy, click on this link.

Photo Gallery

To see the full photo gallery from the CONEL Martial Arts Academy launch, click on this link.

The video clips below show some of the Karate demonstrations from the Launch


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