TWO Penarth siblings are punching - and kicking - well above their weights, having competed in the European Karate Championships.

Harri Cormack, 10, and his 12-year-old sister Ella competed in the championships in Barcelona, alongside 500 other competitors - both children and adults.

Before the event started Harri, a pupil at Pen yr Garth told dad Christian that he was “terrified.”

Penarth Times: Harri Cormack and Ella Cormack at the European Karate ChampionshipsHarri Cormack and Ella Cormack at the European Karate Championships (Image: Christian Cormack)

Harri Cormack and Ella Cormack at the European Karate Championships. Picture: Christian Cormack

But he didn't let the nerves get the better of him, finishing an impressive third in his age group, and taking home the third place cup, while Ella finished 5th in her age group.

Mr Cormack said: “Once the tournament started his nerves evaporated, before starting I asked how he was feeling and he sat back put his feet up on the chair in front and I expected him to say 'fine' however he said, ‘yeah daddy I’m terrified,’ he did laugh so I knew he was ok.

“He followed his sister Ella; she is 12 he used to sit outside until he was old enough to join.

Penarth Times: Harri with his third placed cupHarri with his third placed cup (Image: Christian Cormack)

Harri with his third placed cup. Picture: Christian Cormack

“He has a slight stutter and we thought building his confidence would help with it and it does help, he suffers more when he is anxious about things.

“He is 10 in the U11’s and she is 12 in the U13’s so they hope to try again next year when they will be a year older and not a year younger than the others in their age group.

“They also entered the full contact competition later in the day but having never fought without protective pads before they found that more challenging and all of them were brave just to get on the mat.

“In this country you fight with a chest guard until you are much older. However, as we discovered when we arrived that does not happen in Europe.”

Penarth Times: A very happy HarriA very happy Harri (Image: Christian Cormack)

A very happy Harri. Picture: Christian Cormack

Ella and Harri are both part of karate WKK club in Cogan, two others also competed from the club also competed in the championships, which were held in March.

Last November Lee Costa hosted the WKK Welsh Open in Penarth, both Harri and Ella competed in the U12 category, Ella came first whilst Harri came second.

Mr Cormack thanked Mr Costa and the instructors for their help in the build up to the competition and giving them extra coaching in their own time.