23 August 2017

Amber is 15 years old and a Team GB kickboxer fighting in the 50kg and under category. With Euro championships coming up in September in Macedonia, she has been training at the YMCA Fitness Centre in Redhill.

What are your main motivations for doing kickboxing?

Because I love it! Kickboxing motivates me because I find it interesting as it isn’t a main or usual sport. It offered something different for me and it allowed me to focus on a different skillset.

What are your main highlights/achievements from kickboxing?

My highest achievement to date is getting into team GB which I am very proud of. I am able to compete at a high level as I am going to the Euro championships in September. My highest current win is in super league competitions.

What is your current training schedule like for kickboxing?

I train every morning and every evening for 2-3 hours a day the only rest day I get is Saturday. The sessions are quite gruelling. I have to take on sparring sessions, drill work and strength work. I have to be careful with what and how much I eat as I need to maintain 50kg in weight to be able to compete in my category.

If you could give a piece of advice to someone who is aspiring to be in Team GB what would you say?

Don’t give up – this is the key thing. You must be committed in your sport and have to train hard and leave nothing behind, but most of all don’t be disheartened if you have setbacks or losses in life as it is natural.

So how do you actually win a kickboxing match?

Well you aren’t allowed excessive contact as this can lead to you losing points. You have to beat your opponent via points. At the end of 2 x two minute rounds the contender with highest points wins. A punch to the head or body is 1 point, a kick to the head or body is 1 point and a jumping head kick is 3 points… but those are really difficult and I am still yet to do one in competition. 

When is your next big competition and tell us a little bit about it.

My next competition is the European Championships in Macedonia. They are taking place from 310 September. I fight in the 50kg and under category called “older cadets”.

How did you find out about the YMCA and why did you choose to train here to prepare for your Euro championships?

I found out about the YMCA through my sister who is a current fitness member. I chose to train here to prepare myself for my next competition because I knew one of the fitness instructors personally. Nathanael and his track record with previous athletes was impressive. Also the YMCA gave me free membership to support my training which really helped me make my decision. The help and kindness provided from the YMCA really assisted in making me a better athlete not just physically, but mentally as well.

If you had to pick your favourite piece of equipment in the YMCA fitness centre what would you pick?

I enjoy using the Concept 2 rowing machine the most. I use it for my warmups and cool downs as it feels like a full body workout which made me ready for my training.

Did the training provided to you improve yourself and how?

The strength and conditioning sessions provided by Nathanael really helped me improve my strength which was one of my weaker points. I was happy with the progress made especially with the leg press machine, I started at 170lbs and over the course of sessions I could press 195lbs for 5 repetitions.

Is there anything you would like to say about the YMCA?

Yes, thank you very much for the opportunity and allowing me to use your facilities to train in and prepare myself for my next competition. I would like to personally thank Ian and Stuart  for allowing me to use the centre free of charge. Also I would like to thank Nathanael for the strength and conditioning sessions which were all very fun and engaging but most of all they pushed me to improve.

Update 18/09/2017 | Amber got through to the quarter finals which went to extra time with her final fight and she just lost on points.