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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 19:03 GMT
Four-year-old wins martial arts award
Heather Burns
Heather Burns has won the yellow tag award
A four-year-old girl from south Wales has become the youngest in the UK to attain a special martials arts grade.

Heather Burns has been presented with a yellow tag, with an A+ mark, for her tae kwon do skills only six months after joining the Little Ninja Dragons Club in Newport.

I'm really glad to have my yellow tag but one day I want a black belt

Heather Burns
Heather started attending the club after watching her 11-year-old brother Lloyd taking part.

"When she took her test all the instructors assessing her were really impressed," said her instructor Leanne Gasser.

"She has a special talent. She is the youngest person in Britain to achieve a yellow tag," she added.

And Heather thinks the yellow tag is just the beginning.

"I'm really glad to have my yellow tag but one day I want a black belt," she said.

"I love doing tae kwon do and I'm lucky to have a big brother to practice on."

Good discipline

Heather's father John is delighted at his daughter's achievement.

"You normally can't even attempt to get the yellow tag until the age of six and even then it's rare," said 38-year-old Mr Burns.

"For her to pass it with an A+ is just tremendous. She only started going to copy her brother."

Mr Burns believes tae kwon do will help Heather as she grows up.

"It is a non-contact, defensive sport. I think it teaches the kids a good moral code and discipline," he said.

"But I don't fancy it myself - I'll stick to playing squash."

BBC Wales's Claire Summers
"Like most families, the Burns like to spend time together"
See also:

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