SEVERAL sports have been going virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, and taekwondo is no different, with a worldwide competition seeing a Keighley youngster achieve great success.

The KickCovid Taekwon-do Tul challenge saw children and adults submit their best pattern (a routine using set martial art movements) to be judged by an international panel.

The videos were filmed in back gardens and bedrooms, with over 300 people entering the competition.

And Beanland Taekwon-do, which has one of its West Yorkshire and Lancashire clubs in Keighley, had several entrants finish in the top three of their respective categories.

One of those was eight-year-old Keighley star Benjamin Whiteley, who finished second in the 8-9 years male 3-1 kup category.

Benjamin's mum, Victoria, said her son has been finding lockdown difficult, as he cannot see his friends and is having to shield at home due to his severe asthma.

But taekwondo has provided real comfort in these difficult times, with this international silver medal the highlight.

Mrs Whiteley said: "Every country could enter and we heard about it through Facebook and through Benjamin's master, Chris Beanland, who runs Beanland Taekwon-do.

"The further you go on your taekwondo journey, you have to learn longer and more complex patterns for every belt.

"So Benjamin had learned this pattern, which consists of blocking, striking and kicking, and there were two weeks between filming it and the results being announced.

"The competition just grew bigger and bigger. They were only expecting a few people and in the end nearly 300 entered. It was massive.

"Lockdown has been tough for everyone and as Benjamin's a severe asthmatic, he's having to shield and can't see his friends.

"So this was just awesome. We were all crying when we found out about Benjamin getting his silver medal and he was over the moon.

"We ordered a cream tea to celebrate."

But this is not the only taekwondo Benjamin has been doing during lockdown, with his mum explaining: "Chris, who runs Beanland Taekwon-do, is also a world medal holder and he's a brilliant teacher.

"He has been encouraging all the kids through Covid(-19) and has just been tremendous. He has been holding daily Zoom classes for them all, with his assistant Matt Storey helping.

"All of Chris' clubs represented England in a worldwide event (in Italy) last year and this year they were due to go to Poland for the European Championships in October, but obviously that's up in the air."

Asked what is next for Benjamin himself, his mum said: "He's a red tag (blue belt with a red tag) at the moment, so he's just three away from his black belt.

"He's hoping to have his black belt by the time he's 10, but that might not be possible given the lockdown."