Meet our Sport Scholar… Kelly Horsfall!

This week, we’re getting to know our sport scholar, Kelly Horsfall, a little bit better!

(c) Joe Pinder Photography (

Karate practitioner, Kelly joined us at Manchester Metropolitan University this year to study Fashion Design and Technology after completing an Art Foundation degree.

Kelly competes in the Kata, which are the detailed choreographed patterns of movements practised either solo or in pairs, and the kumite (freestyle fighting), and has enjoyed incredible success on the national and international stage in both disciplines.

We spoke to Kelly about her sport, her future ambitions and aspirations and her advice to other young athletes.

How did you get involved with your sport?

“I attended a local class, which was held in my primary school.”

What is the highest level at which you have ever competed?

“I’ve competed as part of the England Team Kara at the Junior World Karate Championships in Malaysia and at the Junior European Karate Championships in Azerbaijan.”

What are your greatest sporting achievements?

“In 2015, I was named the Senior English National Kumite Champion, the Senior British International Kumite Champion and the Senior Scottish International Kata Champion.”

What are your notable achievements outside of sport?

“I achieved a Distinction in my Art Foundation Degree at MMU last academic year.  Another a great achievement for me is that I succeeded in getting a job at Manchester United Hospitality then being promoted upon assessment to VIP Hospitality.”

Why did you choose to study your course?

“I have always really enjoyed art and had a great interest in fashion, specifically design. Whilst studying my Art Foundation course at MMU, I was clear that fashion was the career path I wanted to take. The industry fast paced, fun and exciting and although I have been told it is competitive, I never been afraid of a bit of competition.”

What are your future ambitions and aspirations?

“Career wise I hope to be very successful in the Fashion industry and to have a respected opinion and high influence over fashion and style.

“In terms of Karate, I hope to continue selecting and competing for my country by working hard and going up against the top competitors in the world. I would like to teach my own seminars and classes to help inspire younger athletes.”

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?

“My mum and dad. They are the most supportive parents and they are incredibly encouraging, without them I wouldn’t have had the success I have up until now.”

What is the best part about being a high performance athlete?

“Being proud of myself for the achievements that I have gained, but also constantly pushing myself to be better.  I also love that I am given amazing opportunities to travel the world and meet new, likeminded, people and the opportunity to gain recognition on a world competition circuit.”

What advice would you give to a young athlete?

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

“I hate this saying, but a lot of people will tell you you’re not good enough and try to knock your confidence but you have to rise above it and keep working hard to prove them wrong.”

Thanks Kelly!

Applications for our 2016/17 sport scholarship programme are now open.  To find out more about our sport scholars and how to apply, visit our website.

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