A MARTIAL arts expert from Flintshire is making a desperate plea for funding to help her compete in a global competition.

Tae kwon do ace Jade Jones, from Flint, must fly to Mexico on February 27 if she wants to secure her place in the first ever youth Olympic games, but needs £1,300 for a flight and hotel.

The 16-year-old has so far raised £200 from bag-packing in local supermarkets and is now asking kindhearted strangers and businesses in the area to contribute.

If Jade qualifies in Mexico, she will compete in the youth Olympics in Singapore in August.

Taking a break from training in Manchester, Jade told the Leader: “If I don’t get the money in time I won’t be able to go. I would be devastated because I’ve trained so hard for this.

“We’ve done great so far,” said Jade, of Mumforth Walk. “It’s going to be a big day on Sunday and I’ll be there to oversee it all. I’d like to thank everybody who has helped out so far.”

Proud mum Jane Jones said: “It costs £1,351 for her flight and 10 days accommodation, but we only have a couple of hundred raised so far.

“The Olympic people have already provisionally booked her flight but we need that money or she can’t go.”

Local pubs have stepped up to the mark to help out the youngster with a series of fundraisers.

“Flint Sports and Social Club is holding a darts, dominoes, pool and snooker knockout on Sunday,” said Jane.

“There will also be a raffle and a bouncy castle for the kids so hopefully we will raise a lot.”

Georgie Roscoe, of the Tradesmans Arms, Flint, is also doing what she can to help the youngster out.

“We will be holding a karaoke night with a raffle to try and raise some money to get her over there,” said Georgie.

“We’re just doing all we can to help her.

“It’s not often you get somebody with this much talent.”

The karaoke at The Tradesmans Arms starts at 8pm on Saturday and knockout at Flint Sports and Social Club kicks off at 1pm on Sunday.

Anybody wanting to donate should call Jane on 07933811449.