A talented and highly-motivated student at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre has earned the title of world champion kickboxer in her age group.
A-Level sport and exercise science student Shannon Bacon, who is planning a career as a professional sports therapist after studying at university, took the title in Dublin after triumphing over some of the top young kickboxers from across the globe.
This achievement is the latest in a long line of kickboxing successes for Shannon, who has already competed across the world, securing world titles and gold medals since she took up the sport 11 years ago.
Shannon, who is 18 and from Stacksteads, is a former pupil at Fearns Community College. She earned her place in the world championships after securing the national title in Bradford and soon, when she is 19, will start competing in the adult categories of contests.
She said: “I’m over the moon at earning the world title once again and it’s a great way to bring my career as a junior to a close. I’m now looking forward to taking my kick boxing to the next level and take on some of the world’s top kick boxers in new competitions.
“Kickboxing is my passion. I can train up to 30 hours a week so I have to be very disciplined with my time, but I always get lots of individual support from my tutors to ensure that I can follow my kickboxing dream and get the qualifications I need to study at university.
"Plus, my A-Level studies in sport and exercise science really help me in my training and competitions as I’m learning about optimum performance, physiology, psychology and nutrition.”
Shannon, who is a member of Alf's Blackbelt Academy, Stacksteads, where she helps other aspiring young kick boxers to reach their full potential, is also a member of the college’s Elite Athlete programme.
She has access to the specialist gym equipment and sports performance laboratory at Fitness Evolution, the college’s on-site fitness centre, as well as individual guidance on strength and conditioning, the mindset for success and on diet for optimum performance from the professional coaches there.
Karen Buchanan, principal of Burnley College Sixth Form Centre, said: “Huge congratulations to Shannon on her amazing performance in the world championships. We’re immensely proud to have a World Champion athlete in our midst and she is an inspiration to each and every student who dreams of sporting success.
“Shannon’s determination to succeed shines through in everything she does and is shown in her passion for her sport; her commitment to her studies and her great career goal.
"As a college family we are behind Shannon every step of the way and will support her in every way possible to achieve her dreams, ensuring she gets the individual, expert support and guidance she needs both in the classroom and the gym.
“As a college, we’re rapidly becoming recognised for our reputation in sporting success and our ability to take students from Advanced Vocational and A-Level studies right through to a university degree, led by some of the biggest names and renowned experts in the sports scene here in the North-West.
"We’re helping some of the region’s top young athletes take their performance to the next level and are in no doubt whatsoever that we’ll be celebrating their success at the highest possible level in years to come.”