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World at their feet Kick boxers qualify for World Championships
Tuesday 3rd April 2018 @ 17:10 by Mark Phillip

Four talented kick boxers have secured their place at the World Championships in Dublin in October.

Madison Buxton, Grace Gregory, Heather Wheal and Emma Bonsall, who all train at Evolution in Hadfield, will represent Team England after qualifying at the English National Championships in Bradford.

Kelly Buxton, a multi-award winning world champion, who owns and teaches at Evolution, is also hoping to defend her title at the prestigious competition.

Speaking to Chronicle Sport, Kelly, who is the mother of Madison, said she’s extremely proud of all four students. “It’s an amazing achievement and well deserved after years of hard work and effort” said Kelly.

“We’ve been to that competition for the last four years, and personally, for Madison, it will be her third time competing.”

Kelly, who has 28 years’ experience in the sport, claimed two gold medals and a bronze medal at last year’s World Championships, which was held in Orlando in November.

The 37-year-old, who lives in Dukinfield, is confident of retaining her crown in six months time. She added: “Im looking forward to the competition as it will give me a chance to defend my title.

“To be honest, i wasn’t really expecting to return with any medals at last year’s World Championships, as i’d been out of action for a couple of years due to injury. However, success in those circumstances made me even hungrier to win more.”

Kelly is hoping her four students will be just as successful at the competition. Nine-year-old Madison returned with a bronze and silver medal at the English Championships in March, while Grace, 8, claimed a bronze medal. Kelly said the two youngsters have come on leaps and bounds in recent months, and even if they fail to claim silverware, she knows the experience will help them further. “Grace wasn’t very confident when she first came, but she’s really blossomed and come out of her shell.

“Madison has always been confident, but I think the sport gives her that drive to go and do something, rather than sitting in the house and watching television and playing video games. Madison trains five times a week, sometimes six days. She’s not being forced to do it; she wants to do it. It also has a knock on effect with school and homework, which can only be a good thing.”

Heather, who is the oldest in the group, claimed two silver medals at the British Championships. When the 23-year-old previously represented Team England, she came away with a silver and gold medal.

Likewise, 17-year-old Emma bagged herself a couple of bronze medals during her previous expedition with Team England.

While excitement is steadily building ahead of the competition, Kelly says much needs to be done to make the trip possible. “We’re entirely self-funded, so we will have to cover our own costs for the flights, accommodation and other expenditure” said Kelly.

“Thankfully the competition is taking place in Dublin this year, so flights won’t be too expensive, although when you have bills to pay, any bit of financial help is welcome.”

For those interested in sponsoring the students, please contact the Chronicle Facebook page.