It’s not often youngsters get the chance to sit next to champions of the WORLD in the classroom.
But that’s the case at one Hucknall school after the glorious success of kickboxing sisters Josie and Lucie Callan.
As reported in last week’s Dispatch, Josie (14) and Lucie (12) swept the board at the first unified world kickboxing championships held in Italy, winning gold medals in five of the six categories they entered.
Now they have returned home to Oakenhall Avenue in Hucknall, which means back to school at the Holgate Academy, complete with their haul of medals.
And they have been welcomed with open arms by Holgate teachers and pupils alike.
All in stark contrast to to the days when they were bullied at their previous school, which led to them taking up kickboxing in the first place.
“Everybody at the Holgate Academy is very proud of Josie and Lucie,” said school spokesman Phil Bailey.
“They represented themselves, Holgate, Hucknall and England with distinction. Well done!”
Bailey also praised the sisters for their disciplined training regime leading up to the world championships. It comprised regular sparring sessions and three-mile runs six days a week, plus monthy training with the England squad.
Josie and Lucie flew out to Italy with their parents, Garry and Lynn, on the Tuesday, not arriving at their hotel until midnight.
Wednesday was a free day for rest and sightseeing before breakfast as early as 6 am the next day and on to the opening ceremony of the championships, which featured countries from across the world. The heats were staged on the Thursday and the Friday before finals day on the Sunday.