Design Assistant, Lauren Ferguson, is celebrating a top achievement having returned from representing Scotland in the European Tae Kwon Do Championships in Liverpool last week.
Twenty-six year old Lauren, who lives in Saltcoats, took part in both individual and team sparring categories and was one of 800 competitors to take part representing more than 32 countries.
In the U69K individual weight category Lauren, who holds a first dan black belt, was narrowly beaten by a Russian athlete, who trains professionally and went on to win the gold medal. The Scottish adult female team were drawn in a tough group and were beaten by England.
James Frew provided Lauren with £250 sponsorship towards her accommodation for the event along with three days additional holiday to enable her to compete.
Lauren said, "It was a fantastic event and this year it was all about gaining experience. I'm really proud of my performance and was so pleased to have been selected. I'm so grateful to James Frew for their support which was a great help and was one less thing to think about in amongst my training which I do six days a week.
"The event has given me a taste for international competition and although it can be hard going during training sometimes, I'm already looking forward to my next major event which is a friendly in Holland later in the year."
Lauren only took up the sport nine years ago when she found herself at a loose end having left behind sports activities when she left school and decided to try at a UKTC class based in Ardrossan. Coached by former champion, Stacey Cummings, Lauren was the only adult to be selected from North Ayrshire for Scotland but was joined by a staggering eight other Ayrshire competitors, making up almost a quarter of the 42-strong Scotland squad.
Roddy Frew, Managing Director said, "We are extremely proud of Lauren and all she has achieved. To train daily is hard enough but to combine that with a full-time job just illustrates her dedication and commitment to the sport."
A form of self-defence, Tae Kwon Do is one of the oldest forms of martial arts in the world originating in Korea.