November 2019: Nat and Ocean are World Champion kickboxers

Two of our talented students became world champions in their sport following a competition in Manchester.

Nat Leteney, Year 8, and Ocean Flanagan, Year 7, both attend West Freestyle Martial Arts in Rawtenstall.

Nat, 12, qualified for a place on the WKO kickboxing England team after winning silver at the British Open in February.

At the WKC World Karate and Kickboxing Championships the brown belt, three stripes fighter took on four opponents in the under 40kg weight category.

He said: “I stopped my opponent in the semi-final when I kicked them and did something that winded them – they couldn’t fight on so after 40 seconds the round was stopped.

“In the final I knew who I was going to be fighting as I have fought him before. I knew he was going to be tough because a previous fight I had with him went to the judges to decide.

“The rounds last 1min 30 secs and after just 10 seconds it had to be stopped because we hit knees and we both had dead legs. They restarted it and it was more of a boxing fight than kickboxing.

“I threw a punch and he threw one and my head went right back, then I got a clean punch to his nose and gave him a nosebleed. It went to the judges and I think it was a split decision, but I won.

“I will be fighting him again in a couple of weeks at the Battle of the North 3 at The Riverside in Whitworth on November 17. Next time it will be over five rounds.”

Ocean, 11, is an orange/green belt and at 36kg was in the U37k category, but as there were no competitors fought in the U35kg.

She said: “The final lasted the whole 1min 20secs and the judges unanimously picked me as the winner.”

Nat trains at the club from Wednesday to Saturday and some Sundays and Ocean is there Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and some Saturdays. On a weekend they are either in competitions or grading.