FRIENDS Bethany Marsh and Carissa Street are kicking off their bid to become martial arts world champions.
The girls, both 13, have been selected to compete in this year’s WKU World Championships in London.
Bethany, from Hucclecote, is a black belt in both kickboxing and Wado Ryi karate, and Carissa, from Barnwood, is taking her black belt this year.
They train with Remi Ashton at KiXtreme Martial Arts in Brockworth and at the Gloucester Martial Arts Centre.
Remi said: “They will be competing against performers from all over the world at this amazing event.
“This is a massive achievement and goes to show with dedication and hard work your goals can be achieved.
“Both girls train and work very hard, training up to four times a week and at weekends.
“They also travel to Derby on a fortnightly basis where they train for up to four hours.
“All of us at KiXtreme and Gloucester Martial Arts are very proud of them and know they will give it their best.”
Bethany, a pupil at Chosen Hill School, started martial arts when she was four years old.
She has been competing for just over 14 months in xtreme open forms at many tournaments and has picked up seven gold medals and was named the under 17s grand champion.
“It has taken me ages to get to the level to compete at the world championships,” she said.
“I really enjoy martial arts. It gives me confidence and when I perform it gives me a rush and makes me happy.”
Carissa, a pupil at Churchdown School, started martial arts when she was three.
This year she has placed in the top three at the Unity Games, British Open Championships and the Kwon Grand Slam Series.
“I am excited about the competition but a bit nervous,” she said.
“There is still a couple of months to go so I will be working on my fitness and practising hard.”
Due to their success over the past months, Bethany and Carissa have now been selected to compete at the WKU World Championships in August.
Xtreme martial arts is a martial arts system that incorporates freestyle, Japanese, Chinese martial arts with acrobatics tricking and breakdancing.
Both girls are looking for sponsorship to help pay for travel costs and equipment. Contact Remi on 01452 223 689 for more information.