World-class glory for Hucknall’s kickboxing Callan sisters in Italy

KICKBOXING CLEVER -- sisters Josie (right) and Lucie (second from left) Callan show off their medals with coach Tyler Shakespeare and teammate Amy Timmins.

KICKBOXING CLEVER -- sisters Josie (right) and Lucie (second from left) Callan show off their medals with coach Tyler Shakespeare and teammate Amy Timmins.

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Hucknall sisters Josie and Lucie Callan have taken their kickboxing achievements to new heights by conquering the world!

Josie (15) and Lucie (13), of Watnall Road, both fought their way to a remarkable hat-trick of gold medals at the unified world championships in Florence, Italy.

“They smashed every fight and every round,” beamed proud dad Garry, who runs the Orchard Care Home on Papplewick Lane, Hucknall with wife Lynn.

“This is the biggest organised kickboxing event in the world. Between 10,000 and 20,000 people were there. Nothing gets bigger than this, so it shows the standard Josie and Lucie have reached. I am really pleased for them.”

The sisters landed their medals in the events of kickboxing in the ring, kickboxing on mats and low kicks on mats. Both fought in the minus-45kg categories, with Josie in the 13-to-15-year-olds’ age group and Lucie in the 11-to-12-year-olds (she turned 13 only a month ago).

They represented the World Kickboxing Association (WKA), which was one of several organisations brought together to support the championships. And they were part of a four-strong team from the Saxon Kickboxing Academy, run by world champion Tyler Shakespeare, in Birmingham.

Also fighting for Saxon, 18-year-old Brandon Short won a gold and a bronze medal and 14-year Amy Timmins won four silvers, taking the team’s total haul of medals to a brilliant 12.

So it is little wonder that ex-soldier Garry was full of praise for Shakespeare, describing him as “an exceptional coach”.

“His attention to detail is phenomenal,” added Garry. “He is the reason we go down to Birmingham to train three times a week.”

Despite their success, Garry doubts the girls will return to Italy next year after criticising the event as “poorly organised”.

However, Josie and Lucie will be on their travels again next May when they tackle the European Championships in Spain.