Nicole gets her kicks in the ring

KICKBOXING: Nicole Huntington has the world at her feet, quite literally.

That is because the 14-year-old kickboxer, who won gold at the recent European Championships in Italy, is targeting global domination if she makes next year’s World Championships.

The Copleston High School pupil only started practising the martial art six years ago but is now firmly established as one of the best in her weight division (50kg).

The talented teenager is also a rising star in the boxing ring as well as on the netball court and football pitch, playing for Copleston Under-15s as a striker in the latter.

But kickboxing is her first love and the Ipswich-based fighter who trains at Millennium Martial Arts, is planning on focusing most of her efforts on the martial art.

“I want to go on to bigger and better things in kickboxing,” said Huntington, whose older brother Ashley, 17, along with mum and dad, Jennifer and Lee, are also experts in the ring.

“My coach wants to put my name forward for the ABA boxing championships as not many girls do it and there could be a chance of competing at the Olympics later in my career but that is something I want to look at further down the line.

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“There is the World Championships next year that hopefully I will be able to go to and there are also various titles that I can contest.”

Huntington, who has also lived in Doncaster, defeated the number three-ranked kickboxer in the world in her category at the championships in Italy and that was a sign of just how far she has come in a relatively short space of time.

She said: “When I first fought I was a little bit nervous but it was in a club fight that my coach was running and there were a few other youngsters involved so it was not that bad.

“I kept on competing in points sparring and I ended up winning the Revolution Championship for the whole of South Yorkshire.

“In point sparring, it is more about skill. You get a point each time you land a shot and then you go back to your corner. I now do continuous sparring.

“That is what I did in Italy and the atmosphere there was incredible. Because so many nations were involved too, you would get people from other countries supporting you and at one point I had the German fans supporting me. It was amazing.”

Nicole, coached by 7th Dan Steve Crawford is one of several female members at the Millennium Club but explained why she thinks girls, in particular, made excellent kickboxers.

“Girls tend to be better at kickboxing than boys because they are more flexible,” said the youngster.

“I am quite surprised how many girls take part in contact sport but training, for kickboxing especially, is not as brutal or as difficult as people think.”

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