A karate club coach has dropped-off medals to her students to reward them for their hard work and to keep their spirits up during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lauren Crawford from Maryport usually coaches karate classes at Yokai Kami Karate with bases in Dearham and Aspatria. However she has been forced to adapt to coaching during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: "Because of the pandemic we are doing our classes online."

Many young students have been training hard with Lauren over Zoom from their homes and last week she rewarded them for their efforts, posting medals and an inspirational quote through their letterboxes to spur them on.

Lauren who is also a full time police officer and a member of the England karate squad said: "They're doing super, it was just to give them a well done."

The online classes have proven to be a benefit for Lauren's students during the disruption and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lauren said: "It's just to keep a bit of normality in their lives. Exercise is the best thing for them."

Her students will not miss a step when normal training resumes.

"I'm keeping them up to date on the basics so that they don't feel out of synch when we come back."

A class is run for children with autism at Yokai Kami Karate club.

"I have support classes for some students with autism spectrum disorder."

Lauren said: "We work together so that I can give them the attention they need."

Although the Zoom classes have been a challenge, they have proven to be a benefit to the children and their families.

"They are grateful for it, it gives them a little break in the day and it helps me a little bit."

However Lauren added that technology has posed its challenges when leading her classes.

She said: "On Zoom it's really hard because I can't move them into the positions.

However, she added that the challenge is making her better as a coach: "It makes me look at how I communicate."

Lauren is herself an accomplished martial artist, winning trophies from an early age under the watchful eye of mentor and Hokushinko founder Mark Hodgson.

She is now competing at the highest level, with 10 British and six European titles to her name as well as number one and number three world rankings.

The black belt is now passing on her knowledge to the next generation. Students learn kata routines with a separate class for those who want to compete in the kumite point fighting competitions.

For more details on classes when they return, visit the Yokai Kami Karate page on Facebook. Classes are normally held at Dearham School Hall and Aspatria Community Hall.