William makes the step up to join Alfie in England squad

William, left, and Alfie Cunningham
William, left, and Alfie Cunningham
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William Cunningham has joined his brother Alfie in securing a place in the England squad.

It’s a great start to the year for Havant karate dojo, where the talented duo train.

William impressed during England trials.

He performed well in front of top instructors from the Japan Karate Association (JKA).

The eight-year-old, a 1st kyu brown and white belt, is now one of the youngest members of the England squad.

Havant instructor Steve Fife was pleased to see the latest talented Cunningham make the step up to international level.

He said: ‘William is doing very well.

‘The England team don’t usually have students competing until they are nine so we thought William might have to wait until next year.

‘But they obviously feel he has got the ability.

‘William is progressing quickly – like Alfie did.

‘You can see the same qualities in them.

‘William will be going for his black belt 1st dan jka later this year, which will make him one of the youngest black belts in England.’

Alfie has already excelled in competition for England and he has now cemented his place in the national set-up again.

Last year the 15-year-old competed for his country in the World Championships in Japan and the European Championships in Prague.

In both prestigious events he reached the finals with high-quality karate.

Fife added: ‘Alfie done fantastic again, cementing his place in the squad for another year.

‘He’s 15 now and he’s got a lot stronger.’

Alfie and William will both be hoping to be considered for the JKA European Championships in Belgium in May.

Then there is the national championships to come after that.

The brothers will be attending England squad training in Westminster, London, twice a month.