A YOUNG kickboxer has fought his way up to blue belt in just three years.

Riley Anderson, eight, of Fitzwilliam Street, Hoyland, has been participating in the sport at Combat Academy, Wombwell, since he was five-years-old and dedicates more than six hours per week to training, in addition to competing in competitions and spars.

His mum, Kelly Anderson, is so impressed with his commitment she nominated him for a Young Champions Award under the Young Sportsperson category.

She said: “He loves participating in Kickboxing and he puts one hundred per cent into the sport.

“He loves training and he never complains if he has to lose or gain weight before a competition.

“He has even placed better than adults in some competitions especially since he joined the juniors. I’m really proud to see how much he has achieved.”

His coach, Mick Crossland, said: “Riley is super motivated, hard working and he shows a great work ethic. He is competent beyond his years and he has a natural talent for martial arts.

“He has been training with Combat Academy for around two and a half years and he is ahead for most kids his age. I put that down to his commitment and when he suffers a setback, he doesn’t give up or let the situation overcome him.

“He is extremely disciplined and the younger children look up to him as do the older children. This form of martial arts requires focus and tenacity and Riley displays this again and again.

“He deserves to be nominated for a Young Champions Award and we wish him the best with his nomination.”