13yo Wellington teen gets black belt

13yo Wellington teen gets black belt

A black belt in karate is seen as the highest honour in the sport, and for Wellington school kid Gala Baumfield, she's looking to earn it at just 13.

On the face of it Gala is like any 13-year-old. After school she plays with her neighbours, but she's really not like any 13-year-old.

She has her own YouTube channel with thousands of followers, has the lead role in a local short film and is getting ready to qualify for her black belt in karate.

"I like fighting a lot in competitions and that. You know, you get in there and get all like this and just the thrill of it," she says.

She fights boys, adults – anyone who will take her on.

If she can, she will be the first under-15 female in New Zealand to do so, but she will have to work; it's a gruelling six-hour session.

"I'm kind of nervous, but really excited too," she says.

But the worst is yet to come. After breaking the wood at her qualifying session she looks to her hand. She's broken that too.

As her hand is tended to she's told she can pull out. She's already done enough for her black belt, but those words fall on deaf ears.

"I didn't want to give up. I really wanted to keep on going," she says.

The gritty teen is back out there. Tears streaming down her face she fights on.

It's a difficult watch for dad Simon, but after soldiering on, there is a reward for all the pain – she gets black belt.

"I'm really happy but I'm really sore so I don't know. I'm really emotional right now, but happy with how it's turned out," she says.

Next stop is A&E, and then the sky's the limit for this talented 13-year-old.

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