Year at School:
I am in year 8
Sport/s you play:
I do Muay Thai Kickboxing at the Sunshine Coast Thai Boxing centre
What is your favourite sport and why do you love it?
My favourite sport is Muay Thai because I love to do contact sports. When I step in the ring it’s like everything else disappears and I come alive. Since starting Muay Thai I have grown in confidence and am more dedicated to my school work.
How often do you have to train and what does a typical training session involve?
I train 8 times a week 4 mornings and 4 afternoons, I get to training at 4:10 am. A normal morning session usually involves a 1.5 km run beforehand followed by 7 3 minute rounds of pads, 400 knees on the bag and a few rounds of grappling they also throw in sprints and strength and conditioning on alternative days. Then its home to finish any homework I have and off to school. I am back at the boxing centre by 4.10 pm where we start the session with a 3km run to warm up followed by 3/5 3 minute rounds of pads,100 kicks then another 400 knees on the bag. We then pad up and spar for 8/10 3 minute rounds We finish off an afternoon session with 100 push ups 100 sit ups 25 side crunch’s each side 30 leg raises 10 circling to either side. When I get home I have to quickly shower eat and do my homework.
What is the hardest part about playing your chosen sport?
The hardest part of Muay Thai is waking up at 4am each morning training hard, and trying to stay on top of school work. It is also really hard being a teenager and having to stay on a strict diet so I can stay in a weight division as you qualify in a certain weight division at nationals eg 42-44kg in April then you have to hold that weight until the worlds in September. So being a normal kid is tough I eat salad for lunch when my friends pig out even sleepovers are a challenge as mum has to pack my food especially if I have a fight coming up. No movies and popcorn or birthday party treats. It’s all worth it though as I’m doing what I love.
Describe any challenges you’ve had to overcome to develop your skills in your chosen sport:
The biggest challenge for my parents is affording to send me overseas to fight at the worlds. They work so hard both working 2 jobs, fundraising for muay thai is really hard as most people see it as a bad sport. But hopefully, we can come up with the money to get me to Turkey.
Do you have any rituals or routines you do before a big match?
I like to listen to music in my headphones out the back and I hit some pads to warm up. When I enter the ring before a fight I wear a mongkon which is a traditional headpiece and Prajiouds which are armbands we have to seal the ring to show respect to the judges, referees, trainers and opponent.
Do you have goals you are training to achieve in your chosen sport?
My goals in Muay Thai to make the Australian team for a third year in a row to defend my title and ultimately winning my 3rd gold medal at the Ifma youth world championships also reaching 22 fights undefeated because that is the highest record for our gym I’m on 12 at the moment and also becoming a pro.
Who inspires you?
The person that inspires me is my fellow training partner Billy Coulter because he is a smart and technical fighter. He is extremely dedicated and has an awesome sense of humour. I also have the best trainers and team mates. My family also inspires me as my mum and dad taught me the value of hard work and they are all really supportive of what I do.
What do you want to be when you’re older?
When I am older I want to be a professional Muay Thai fighter and also a paramedic because I love to help people.
HELP SKYLAH REPRESENT AUSTRALIA
Can you help this amazing young athlete and her father get to the IFMA youth world championships in Antalya Turkey?
Skylah is a 3xAustralian champ and a 2xWorld champ. Her fight record is 13 fights for 13wins which is an extraordinary achievement for a 13yo. In Turkey, Skylah will compete for gold as a representative of Australia for a 3rd consecutive year. Please donate to help her family get her to the World Champs so she can bring us back another GOLD!