Gorleston father-daughter fighting duo launch appeal for sponsorship as they look to compete in World Martial Arts Games in Florida

Sigourney and Keith Nixon, who both hope to represent Team GB in the World Marial Arts Games. Pictur

Sigourney and Keith Nixon, who both hope to represent Team GB in the World Marial Arts Games. Picture: Supplied by Keith Nixon - Credit: Supplied by Keith Nixon

A father and daughter fighting duo are hoping to represent their country in karate - just months after the father underwent a double heart bypass.

Keith Nixon with his daughter Sigourney in 2012 after he achieved his black belt Picture: James Bass

Keith Nixon with his daughter Sigourney in 2012 after he achieved his black belt Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2012

Keith and Sigourney Nixon, of Lady Margaret Avenue, Gorleston, have been studying the martial art together for eight years, and have aspirations of competing in this year's World Martial Arts Games.

In April, Mr Nixon had open heart surgery at the Papworth Hospital, and feared for his fighting career, but now hopes his road to recovery will lead to international competition.

This, however, will only be possible if they can attract sponsorship to finance their trip to the event - which is held in Orlando, Florida.

Mr Nixon, 56, said: 'We are trying to do whatever we can do to be at the world championships, however, with karate being an amateur sport everything is entirely self-funded.


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'There are a lot of things to pay for - transport, accommodation and entry fees, so it is very difficult to afford.'

The father took up the sport when his daughter was 11, after promising her that when she achieved her black belt he would join in the fun.

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Miss Nixon, 19, is now a Third Dan level competitor, while Mr Nixon himself is Second Dan and both are members of the Chinto Karate Group in Great Yarmouth.

He added: 'I always said to her that when she got her black belt I would take it up, and that wasn't an empty promise.

'I love competing with her and sharing this passion with her and in the past we have competed as a team, which was a real honour.'

Miss Nixon is a volunteer at the James Paget University Hospital, currently dedicating herself to helping in the cardiac rehabilitation unit and the pair have also vowed to fundraise for this cause.

'We need to raise money to compete, but we have also vowed to give 20pc of everything we raise to the cardiac rehabilitation unit, which has been a real support for me,' Mr Nixon added. 'We discovered I needed surgery almost by accident - I used to do a lot of jogging and had a few problems, so went in for tests and they found that one ventricle was really badly blocked and two were also damaged. Fortunately the operation went well and I should be able to start training again at the end of the month.'

To sponsor the pair, contact k.nixon.2011@btinternet.com

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