HARD-hitting sisters Lucie and Josie Callan, of Hucknall, are taking the world of junior kickboxing by storm — just two years after they entered the ring.
The youngsters, who are aged just ten and 13 respectively, took up the sport to boost their fitness and confidence.
But so impressive has their commitment and dedication been, they are now among the brightest young talents in the country in what is a bruising sport.
Josie, who goes to Holgate Comprehensive School in Hucknall, currently holds the English under-40kg title, which she won earlier this year against Marie Keenan, of Sheffield.
What’s more, she is due to take on the same fighter later this year in a bid to land the British title.
Last month, Lucie did battle in the British Open Championships and stormed to glory in her under-35kg category to win a prestigious belt.
The duo, of Oakenhall Avenue, are continuing to hone their skills at their own club, Torkard Kickboxing, which has been set up by their dad, Garry.
“They have done brilliantly since taking up the sport,” said Garry. “At first it was all about confidence and self-control.
“I think they are both extremely talented. They have different fighting styles but are very skilful.
“Lucie is a particular talent. Pound for pound, I don’t think there is another ten-year-old in the country who can beat her. I think she is potentially a world champion.
“The only person to have ever beaten Lucie is Kajool Patel of the West Midlands — and she is two years older.”
The Callan girls have embarked on a rigorous training regime put together by Garry, who used to box competitively while he was in the Army. They run up to four miles a day and he has even bought them their own ring so they can train at home.
Josie and Lucie also fight for Dean Sugden out of the Newark Martial Arts Club.
Last year, the duo impressed after scooping prizes at the Junior Full Contact Council (JFCC) Five Nations show in Newark. This was open to the cream of kickboxers from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
The duo travel the length and breadth of the country to compete.
Already this year they have stepped into the ring in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Accrington in Lancashire, and even Motherwell in Scotland, where Lucie outclassed current British and Scottish champion Amy Boyle and Josie pulled off a technically-excellent win.
The pair are back in action tomorrow night (Saturday) at a show in Derby and then they are heading back up to Accrington on Sunday where they will compete for area titles.
Rocky-obsessed Lucie will enter the arena to the song ‘Eye Of The Tiger’, while Josie, who idolises Muhammad Ali, uses the song ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’.