Sport

Golden girl Keely in kickboxing medal triumph

Don't mess with Keely Battrick – the nine-year-old is taking girl power to new heights. The St Oswald’s pupil has just won a gold medal at the World Kickboxing Council National Championships in Manchester and is now on the hunt for a title.

IN THE MEDALS: Bronze medal winner Danny Parker with gold medal winner Keely Battrick

Don't mess with Keely Battrick – the nine-year-old is taking girl power to new heights.

The St Oswald’s pupil has just won a gold medal at the World Kickboxing Council National Championships in Manchester and is now on the hunt for a title.

The Accrington youngster, who trains at her dad’s gym Fit to Fight on Back Wellington Street, has won 14 of her 15 fights in her short battling career.

"Keely has been training since she was about five and she loves it," said her dad Billy, a former kickboxing champion. "We went to Manchester not knowing quite what to expect but she had three fights and found them all easy.

"She had fought in Blackburn the week before and that was much harder.

"Keely is quite tall for her age and fights at 25kg but it is quite hard to find fights for her as not many girls compete at kickboxing. She is an exception but just enjoys it.

"She came home with a gold medal and a certificate though and was proud."

Danny Parker, aged nine, joined Keely at the national champs in front of a packed audience and he celebrated winning a bronze medal.

Danny was in a hard section and fought his way to the semi-finals, only to lose on a close points decision to the eventual winner on his debut at this level.

It’s certainly a case of keeping it in the family for the Battrick’s as Keely’s older brother Daniel is battling for an English title this weekend.

The 13-year-old has already been English and British title holder but had to vacate them after injuring his arm in a fight and taking six months out while it healed properly. He is back this weekend to take on Ryan Bailey in Liverpool in an attempt to win back his English title.

"He has fought Ryan before when they were both 10 and Daniel won," said dad Billy.

"But Ryan is a lot bigger now and has won a lot of Midlands titles before taking the English one.

"If Daniel can win this, he then hopes to take on the Scottish champion who holds the British belt and win both his belts back. That’s his immediate aim."