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Crawley student crowned Muay Thai UK No. 1 Champion

Local student shows the whole country he is the best.



David Mihai, a 12 year old student from Thomas Bennett Community College who trains at Crawley Martial Arts Academy is celebrating after winning the title of Muay Thai UK Number One.

David had to fight his way to winning the title at a competition held in Manchester on Saturday.  Earlier this year, David was also successful in winning the title of European Champion for K1 (kickboxing) and will be travelling to Spain later in the year to try and get more titles under his belt.

David Mihai from Thomas Bennett Community College with Headteacher Stuart Smith

Putting in up to 14 hours of training a week the success is well deserved and David says he was told by his coach that it’s “a good taste of the future”.  When asked about his future ambitions for the sport, David was quick to say that he wants to become a World Title holder. Showing such dedication for someone so young this really does look to be a realistic ambition. 

Stuart Smith, Headteacher at Thomas Bennett Community College says “The amount of medals and trophies David has won is outstanding.  To become the UK and European Champion is phenomenal and shows such dedication and determination.  We couldn’t be prouder of David and his achievements and are excited to see what the future holds for him in the sport.”

David could well be the next sporting hero from Crawley.  Watch this space…


West Sussex refuses to support Crawley schools decision of NOT fining parents for keeping children absent



September seems to creeping ever closer and with it comes the supposed return to school for children across the town.

But with the news that parents ‘must’ send their children back to school come the start of the new school year, also came the news that one head in paticular had gone on record to say he would not fine any parent who kept their child at home.

Head of St Wilfrid’s Michael Ferry was interviewed on breakfast television where he stated that he would not fine a parent. This then led to a whole debate about who was right and what the right decision should be.

Now West Sussex County Council has added to this furore by refusing to support a decision to not fine a parent made by any head teacher or school in Crawley.

In a statement a West Sussex County Council Spokesperson said:

“We welcome the plan for all children to return to the classroom in September after, what has been for many, a lengthy absence.

“We recognise that some children may be anxious about returning to school and will work closely with our schools to help them prepare children and build the confidence of parents  and carers in the plans for a safe and managed return.

“We will continue to work with schools to engage with and support parents and carers in getting their children back into school before considering issuing penalties for poor attendance. Issuing fines for non-attendance is always a last resort.”

The lack of apparent support from the county council shows an ever growing divide on decisions being made around the ongoing problems with the coronavirus.

Responding to the comments from West Sussex, Michael Ferry said:

“The guidance allows head teachers as far as they can to make local decisions to meet the needs of their school communities.  If one of those decisions happens to be that we are not going to fine people for something that isn’t their fault then I would expect the local authority to support the headteachers in doing so.

If only 10% turn up when we reopen then I would say I have failed because I have not got across the message about what measures we are taking to protect our students.”

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