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Super sisters set for world stage

PUBLISHED: 12:12 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:50 05 July 2010

TWO talented youngsters are aiming for the top in their chosen sports.

The pair of sisters from Lowestoft - Amy and Hannah Wheeler-Smith - are excelling in baton twirling and karate.

TWO talented youngsters are aiming for the top in their chosen sports.

The pair of sisters from Lowestoft - Amy and Hannah Wheeler-Smith - are excelling in baton twirling and karate.

And having both only started training four years ago in these pursuits; the girls have both been selected for England squads in their respective sports.

This week, their “proud” mum Liz told The Journal: “It has been a big commitment for them to get to this level. “Amy constantly twirls while Hannah practises her moves in the garden - and it's just such a great achievement to reach the England squads.”

12-year-old Amy and younger sister Hannah, 10, have both shown the same steely attributes to succeed. And the past year they've started to reap the rewards as both girls achieved entry to the England squads while also achieving fantastic results in the various competitions that they have entered.

“Amy is representing England by competing in the International Cup Competition to be held during the World Championships in Limerick, Ireland in August,” Ms Wheeler-Smith said. “Amy also gained a second place at the individual baton twirling championships held in May and a sixth place at the British Open Freestyle Competition held at the beginning of June.”

Amy, who is a member of the Elysian Twirlers that train in both Lowestoft and Gorleston, competes against the best U13 twirlers in the country.

Meanwhile Hannah, who attends Phoenix Karate Club in Lowestoft, amazingly attained her black belt at the age of just ten - and after only four years of practice - last month.

“This is a fantastic achievement for a ten-year-old,” Ms Wheeler-Smith said.

“Hannah, as a member of the AMA England Junior Karate Squad, has just become the runner up in her section at the AMA British Karate Championships held in Sheffield last weekend.”

Excelling in the Kumite section, Hannah will be heading off to Eurodisney in September to compete in the European Martial Arts Festival.

Between them they are either training or competing six days a week, and fitting in all the schoolwork - for which they are achieving top grades - at Herman Middle School in Gorleston .

“They both dream of being world champions,” proud mum Liz added.

For the family, it is also a real commitment from Liz and her partner to take the youngsters all over the country and world to compete - and in their pursuit of a dream, they are hoping to attract sponsorship to help them on their path to the top.

“I want to be a karate instructor,” Hannah told The Journal. “Getting my black belt was my best achievement as it took four hours of grading and mum was really nervous.”

Admitting her favourite moves were the reverse punch and front-leg round kick, this not-to-be-messed with youngster could even be a potential Olympian as Karate's governing body hold talks about getting the sport into the Olympics.

“If anyone is willing to make a small donation to help sponsor the girls, it would be gratefully received and names of businesses, individuals and companies could go on equipment or websites,” Ms Wheeler-Smith said.

Any businesses, companies or individuals who would like to help these talented youngsters succeed through sponsorship, should e-mail your interest to mark.boggis@archant.co.uk or telephone 01502 525833 and we will pass on details to the family.

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