Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 16:30 UK

'Girly' kickboxer racks up titles

Heidi Davies
Heidi Davies kickboxes with girls and boys four years older than her

Heidi Davies was a typical 11-year-old "girly girl" until a friend's sister was the victim of an horrific attack.

The shy youngster from Blaina, near Ebbw Vale, in the south Wales valleys, decided as a result to take up kickboxing as a form of self-defence.

That was more than four years ago and she has been so successful she is now looking to win a second world championship in Greece in November.

She now has an incredible 95 trophies, including her 2006 world title.

Heidi's mother Deborah Davies said she took up the sport after her friend's sister was seriously injured in a knife attack.

Mrs Davies said the injured girl wanted to attend self-defence classes and this sparked her daughter's interest.

"Heidi and her friend wanted to go along there as well and they all started," said Mrs Davies. "The two others finished because they didn't like it but Heidi loved it."

Trophies won by Heidi Davies
She's got 95 trophies - our living room is covered!
Deborah Davies, Heidi's mother

Mrs Davies said that although her daughter was quiet and shy, she was a tough cookie when it came to combat.

Heidi even has to fight girls and boys who are four years older because she is tall for her age.

"She was so little when she started and she's blonde, she's such a girly girl but she can turn it on," said Mrs Davies.

"When she puts the uniform on, that's it, she's straight in there. She's kept this up very well and she started winning competitions from the age of seven.

"She's got 95 trophies - our living room is covered!"

Training hard

Besides the world title, she has also won various European, Welsh and English honours.

Mrs Davies said her daughter had been bullied before taking up kickboxing four-and-a-half years ago but it soon stopped.

"A few of the girls used to push her around and she would come home crying," she said.

"That all changed with kickboxing. She doesn't bully anyone and they don't bully her."

Heidi, who has an older brother and two older sisters, is now training hard for the World United Martial Arts Federation world championships in Greece in November.

Her parents make the one-hour drive to training at her kickboxing club in Cheltenham every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evening.

"She's training for three hours from 6pm to 9pm then we get home about 10.30pm," said Mrs Davies.

"We take it in turns driving, but we both go up together otherwise we wouldn't see each other!"

And if Heidi's hard work pays off, her parents will have to find space in the living room for yet another trophy...


SEE ALSO
Kickboxing mother has US TV hope
16 Sep 07 |  Cornwall
Kick boxer defies age barrier
08 Mar 03 |  Wales

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