Black belt for Karate Kid who is aged just ten

Valentina Barbosa SUS-150712-114019001
Valentina Barbosa SUS-150712-114019001

A 10-year-old karate fanatic from Hastings has won the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award.

Valentina Barbosa, from Canute Road, has received her black belt in karate, after starting at SAMA Martial Arts when she was aged just three.

It’s been a difficult time for the youngster as her grandad was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year, but this spurred her on to get her black belt to make him proud. Sadly, he passed away in the summer, but Valentina’s mum Kelly said he would have loved hearing about her success.

“My father put up a very brave fight over the months but unfortunately didn’t quite make it to see Valentina’s achievements, but I’m sure he would have been extremely proud,” she said.

“Valentina is thrilled to win the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award as she’s worked really hard in her training. We’d also like to say thanks to her instructors, Sempai Matt Harford and Sempai Kyle Hobgen, who supported her so well, and the lovely class assistant Kimberley Jackson, who Valentina really looks up to.”

Valentina’s brother Max, 12, is also a keen karate enthusiast, having gained his black belt a year before her. He won the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award and won last year. The pair are now training and helping to teach in classes across Hastings to work towards their instructor’s belt.

The Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award is sponsored by Sussex Coast College Hastings and the Hastings Observer Series.

Justin Rollings, from Sussex Coast College, said: “Well done to Valentina! She’s following in the footsteps of her brother Maxim and the pair are excellent ambassadors for their sport. I’m sure they’ll both go far.”

To nominate someone for the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award, please email with details of who you are nominating and the reasons why.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage at

2 Like our Facebook page at

3 Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.