A FORMER karate world champion from Silsden has been selected as one of the two performance coaches aiming to lead Team GB into the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Paul Newby, who won a world gold medal in 2004, and Davin Pack will work with Olympic team leader Gary Anderson to attempt to guide their country into the first games for the sport when they travel to Paris for the qualifier in May.

The two coaches have been part of the England set-up for over seven years, after assisting Willie Thomas for five before taking over the reins as head coaches themselves.

Newby views his next endeavour as the pinnacle of his career and can't wait to start preparation for next year's event.

He said: "It feels amazing to be selected.

"As a competitor I won a world title, but I never got an opportunity to make it to the Olympics but to be the coach is the next best thing.

"When the British coach job became available, we handed in our CVs and they picked us as the best two candidates.

"Davin (Pack) has been to a junior olympics and a European games, while I have been to a world games, so we were the most experienced.

"In such a short space of time we helped gain 12 European and world medals for England.

"I go for my first meeting on Thursday (today) down in London at the Olympic headquarters to plan it all out."

He added: "It (the 2020 Olympic games) is going to be the biggest Karate event ever.

"I went to the junior version last year in Umag, Croatia, and we managed to get two people there.

"That was really nerve-wracking and a different atmosphere to what we have been through before.

"This is going to be another level again, there is going to be a lot of pressure but me and Davin are looking forward to it."

Speaking on his new squad's medal hopes in Asia next summer, Newby highlights one of Silsden's own.

He said: "In the male category we are strong and we also have three good females, so we have as good a chance as anyone.

"Brandon Carr has just won a junior world bronze medal as a heavyweight at the World Karate Federation U21 Championships in Chile.

"He is a massive prospect for the future. If he focuses and puts the training in, I have no doubt that he could go all the way."

Newby added: "We have also got Joe Callaway who just got a European bronze medal, then we have Jordan Thomas who is a former world champion.

"At the Olympic qualifying event, it is only for one day so if you perform you go."

Since winning that world gold in Mexico, Newby has had a stint as a boxer, winning all five of his professional bouts, and opened his own martial arts centre.

The coach now trains a range of different abilities in karate, Brazilian Jujitsu and boxing at the Newby Combat Arts Academy (NCAA) in Silsden.

Newby has earned his stripes as one of Britain's best karate coaches and is hopeful he can translate that success into the boxing world.

He said: "It was a dream come true (winning gold) after making lifelong sacrifices, everything had paid off in the end.

"Lottery funding then went out of karate so I went into professional boxing.

"Although, it was hard to earn money and I had a young family to provide for.

"I decided to open my new gym, a martial arts centre and started focusing on training others.

"As a coach, I am doing the British stuff right down to grassroots.

"I have got a really good youth and senior team and I'm looking after Silsden boxer Danny Whittaker, who went 2-0 the other week."