Hinchingbrooke mum-of-two Heather Bellamy has become a world champion after taking up a sport aged 40.

Martial ArtistsMartial Artists

And if that wasn’t enough, son Alex, 12, got in on the act with a global bronze for his age group at the World Karate and Kickboxing Union’s championships in London.

Alex took up karate forms, a non-contact version of the martial art that focuses on the style, power and use of the various moves, rather than physical confrontation, five years ago. Then mum Heather, 45, took advantage of a parents-can-train-for-free offer shortly afterwards and mother and son have since gone from strength to strength.

Alex won a silver medal two years ago when the world championships were held in Florida but last weekend was the first time Heather has represented England.

Heather defeated Northern Ireland’s Amanda Rice in the open-hand category. She also claimed two silvers, with Rice again featuring in the final.

“Alex had Americans, Canadians and an Italian in his category. For him to get the bronze was a big achievement.

“He has recently gone into his current division and is regularly up against competitors two years older.”

Describing her own success, Heather said: “To get to that level at my age, I’m quite proud of myself.”

She’s at the very top of her age category (30 to 45) so to win on her international debut is some feat.

“If you don’t like the contact side of things, then you can do forms.” she explained. “It’s like a choreographed fight. It’s a whole series of movements that you choose. The judges look at strength, power, balance, how it fits to the music.”

Heather and Alex train three nights a week, plus Saturdays. She praised their coaches, father-and-son team Jeff and Luke Scott, who provide their expertise through Xcellencentre.