A TAEKWONDO teenager from Taunton has been selected to represent England in the European Championships.

Joshua Lukins, 14, from the Taunton Academy, will be heading to Liverpool in April to represent England for the second time after competing in Greece last year.

Josh started Taekwondo when he was eight years old after receiving a taster lesson as a Christmas present from his dad.

He joined Evolution Martial Arts in Taunton and instantly loved it.

Josh has progressed from a white to a black belt and is now a first Dan, the highest accolade being ninth Dan. He trains twice a week in Oxford and is also currently training with Exeter Football Club’s junior academy.

He said: “I enjoy it as it’s easy to pick up, you have to get used to the physical contact at first but once you get it that’s not a problem. It does take a lot of commitment to keep going, but it’s a really fun sport.

“Last year at the finals in Greece I missed the European bronze medal by one point, so I am really hoping to get a medal this time.

“After that I’ll be aiming for the World Championships in Italy in 2018. I’m pretty sure I can achieve it, it’s great to know that you are one of the best in your country at something.”

Josh is sparring in the -52kg category as an individual and will be team sparring with the under-18 junior boys team.

James Mason, head of sport at The Taunton Academy, said: “Obviously we are all very proud of Joshua. What’s great about him is that he is also such a fantastic lad. He works hard at school, is a leader, well behaved all around the school and is a good role model to other children. He helps run our sports clubs and always leads from the front. We wish him all the best.”