Isabella’s dedication pays off as she collects prestigious belt

A Midlothian sports club is celebrating the achievements of one of its most dedicated young members.

Sunday, 27th December 2020, 1:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 27th December 2020, 2:41 pm
Isabella Cochrane

Aged just 12-years-old, Isabelle Cochrane has recently won her first dan black belt following a grading held in Alloa.

Isabella has been part of the United Kingdom Taekwondo Council’s training programmes since she was nothing more than a toddler, having joined the Little Tiger Club, for three to five-years-olds, and advancing through to the Active Tigers and finishing with Taekwondo.

She practices at classes based at Lasswade Leisure Centre/Newbattle Community Campus under the guidance of Keir Burgess (third dan) team UKTC.

The proud instructor said: “Isabella is my first student to achieve the rank first dan black belt.

“She also got the top grading score at her test for her level, the examiner being ninth dan grand master Harkess (UKTC President).”

Her dedication to taekwondo has impressed mum Claire Cochrane who said she and dad Stephen were “so proud” of their daughter.

Claire said: “Whatever she puts her mind to, she always gives 100 per cent.

“However, achieving her black belt and doing so with such a high score, is all down to her fantastic coaches; particularly her main coach, Mr Burgess and Mr Harkess.

“Both instructors not only have high expectations, they know how to get the best out of their class.

“Through their love of taekwondo, their skill and energy to the time they take to build a rapport with their students, it all makes a massive difference to young children.

“We have one very happy little girl.”

Isabella and her younger sister Rosa have been part of UKTC since 2013.

Dad Stephen said the black belt was just reward for her dedication.

He added: “To see how far they have both come on in that time is amazing and to see Isabella finally achieve her black belt at the recent grading with grand master Harkess was a really proud moment for us all.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago I was watching her in her Little Tiger Cub uniform getting excited at achieving another stripe on her belt, so to see how happy she was at getting her black belt was really special.

“Her dedication and hard work in everything she does never fails to amaze me.

“Isabella doing so well is in no small part down to the dedication and hard work shown by the UKTC instructors, particularly during the last few months when they have done so much to keep the kids involved.

“A special thanks from all of us, goes to Mr Burgess and Mr Harkess who have both been such a positive influence on Isabella and her sister since starting out on their taekwondo journey.”