February 2019: England call up for kickboxer Nathaniel

KICKBOXER Nathaniel Leteney only took up the sport in March and has already landed a place in the England team.

The Haslingden High School student is skilled at karate but to improve his technique, he decided to try kickboxing.

The 11-year-old from Edenfield now trains at West Freestyle Martial Arts in Rawtenstall.

At the WKO World Championships Kickboxing Ring, Sport English Open in Barnsley, he was second in his class.

Nathaniel said: “I am a brown belt in karate and trained at Valley Shorai in Ewood Bridge and I am a purple belt in kickboxing, which is only one below a brown.

“When I was just doing karate I was kicking a lot more than punching so I decided to give kickboxing a try to see if I could work on my hands; I didn’t expect to stay with that sport but I found that I really enjoy it.”

Nathaniel competes in the age 11 35-38kg class and won the silver medal for light contact out of the four competitors who came from all over England.

In a kickboxing competition in the Midlands last September, he also won his class outright.

He said: “My goal is to win a gold medal at a world championship and I think that will happen in kickboxing before it happens in karate.”