A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD taekwondo starlet has set her sights on becoming an instructor after achieving her black belt.

Lexi Knox, who lives in Musselburgh, took up the sport when she was just three years old.

Now, after almost a decade of commitment, she has been awarded the black belt.

Lesleyanne and Jamie Knox described themselves as “extremely proud” of their daughter’s “hard work, dedication, perseverance and can-do attitude”.

They said: “She started taekwondo in the summer of 2013 as a Little Tiger Cub and has worked her way through the ranks.

“This definitely isn’t the end for her, she’s continuing her taekwondo journey, setting her next set of goals, including wanting to become an instructor.

“Her family and friends are super proud of her, showing their support and congratulations throughout her journey, be it for her attending competitions or gradings.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of her amazing instructors over the years so a massive thank you to them.”

The youngster trains in Dalkeith but also travels into Edinburgh for extra opportunities to train each week.

Keir Burgess, her instructor at UKTC (United Kingdom TKD Council), described his pupil as “talented, driven and hard-working”.

He said: “She has competed at national level on several occasions and twice has come away with three gold medals, one for each discipline – sparring, patterns and special technique – the most recent being her last competition, which was a requirement I gave her before I could let her sit the black belt exam.

“It is safe to say she smashed it!

“The grading itself was held in Alloa on May 21, which had students from across Scotland and northern England attend.

“The examiner of the grading was president of the UKTC, Grand Master Peter Harkess, a known figure in taekwondo respected globally.

“Lexi was awarded top marks for her performance that day and received her black belt with a big smile on her face after many years of perseverance and dedication!”