KARATE kids from Kingswinford have been at the forefront of a national appeal to help fellow students in South Sudan.

Tigers Karate Club, who are based in both Kingswinford and Gornal, have been helping to provide equipment and kit for their African counterparts.

The appeal was launched by sensei Kevin Bellwood, who works for the UN and witnessed at first hand what karate students had to cope with in South Sudan.

Classes took place on bare soil in the open air with students wearing whatever clothing they could find.

As a result, Kevin started taking old karate suits which he had obtained from friends over to Sudan while he was based there.

Fellow sensei Geoff Beswick at Tigers Karate heard about Kevin’s plight and launched a national campaign via Facebook.

As a result, karate clubs from throughout the UK have been sending them their old suits.

Geoff also enlisted the support of martial arts wholesaler Blitz Sport, who have donated suits and equipment as well.

Geoff told the News: “The campaign’s going really well, in fact its gone better than we could ever imagine.

“Kevin came to visit us last week and left with an estimated £1,000 worth of equipment and suits.”

More details about the appeal can be obtained on www.facebook.com/tigerskarateclubs