A Reading College student has reached the top of her sport as European Thai boxing champion.
Seventeen-year-old sport studies student, Danielle Butler, won the title in the -54kg weight category following a match in Spain last year.
At just 5’ 3”, Danielle is a force to be reckoned with. Her latest win is the tenth title belt to add to her impressive haul, which includes the WKMA Junior World Title, won at just 13 years old.
Danielle explains: “I’ve been Thai boxing since I was eight years old. I just tried it one night and loved it straight away. I train at least six times a week, with a mix of weights, strength and conditioning work. I love training. It’s my favourite part, apart from winning of course.
“On top of my training, fights and college work, I teach a children’s class and an adult’s class. Well actually I call it my dads’ class, because they’re the dads of the kids I teach who asked me to start training them too.
“In a couple of weeks’ time I’ll be going to Thailand for some intensive training, in preparation for an important British title fight in May.
“When I’m older I’m hoping to have my own gym and coach in Thai Boxing. I’m currently studying a Sports Sciences Level 2 programme, which is for people who want to work in the sports and leisure industry.”
Danielle’s sports teacher at Reading College, Aimee Kaur, said: “We try to complement Danielle’s studies with her boxing, for example her assignments can reference her training and achievements.
“Plus she’s really helpful in the gym, obviously very able to demonstrate drills and help her classmates along with her knowledge on training and nutrition.”
Danielle adds: “Thai boxing has really helped me be stay disciplined and focused. For example I could lose my licence if I got caught fighting outside of the ring or training gyms, so it’s something I would never do.”
Thai boxing is similar to regular boxing, but with the addition of kicks, knee and elbow strikes and various clinching techniques.