Kickboxers in the black

TALENTED kickboxers are seeing the positive of passing up a trip to New York by becoming the Hattersley club’s first ever black belts.

Now they are pushing towards a tilt at becoming the world’s best.

Stanley Derbyshire and brother Robbie, Kaden Longmate and Alfie Matthews have all achieved the highest basic grade anyone can reach.

But their five-year quest to get to the top has not been without sacrifices – not least not seeing the Big Apple after being called up to Great Britain’s squad.

All four children were part of the first ever group of children to come through the door at St Barnabas’ church hall on Hattersley Road East.

Their journeys have been tough, with training and competitions, but instructor Rick Allsopp could not praise the three 10-year-olds and 14-year-old Robbie enough.

He said: “It’s been a tough five years for all the lads, training four or five times a week and fighting at tournaments around the country at weekend.

“They’d all made Team GB before even taking their black belts but because of committing totally to taking their grades they had to miss out on the trip to New York this year.”

Despite missing out on the chance to take on the world this year, all four have 2020 vision.

Namely, going to Madrid next August if they are picked again.

Rick added: “Along with 20 others from the club they will be striving to qualify for the British squad in March.

“Then they could fly to Madrid in August to fight for world titles alongside the rest of Team GB.”

Anyone who is interested in taking up kickboxing can call in for a session with Hattersley Kickboxing on Sundays between 5pm and 6pm at St Barnabas’ church hall on Hattersley Road East.

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