It’s fair to say 2018 couldn’t have gone much better for young Muay Thai fighter Faith Harvey.
The Ross High School Senior 1 pupil trains out of Tranent-based Black Diamond Thai Boxing Club under coach Scott Hendry and in October became a two-times world champion after victories in Massa in Italy.
Throw British Open & Celtic Nations titles into the mix and it’s easy to see why 12-year-old Faith is considered one of the hottest prospects in the country.
The youngster, who competes at 47kg, was also this month awarded Junior UK Muay Thai Fighter of the Year (12-14-years) to cap off a remarkable 12 months.
Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, is the art of eight limbs – using punches, elbows, knees and kicks to strike the opponent’s body.
It is Thailand’s national sport and is gaining new bodies in the UK all the time.
“It’s been a really good year. It was brilliant to win my first world titles but I’m also really happy to have won the best fighter of the year award,” Faith said. “It was a bit of a surprise to be honest as there are a lot of others I thought would win it before me. I’d like to win another few world titles this year if I can. I think I’m going to have my first fight at the end of January or beginning of February. I usually do a six-week fight camp that involves training five to six days a week so it can be busy but I manage it.”
Faith’s mum, Naomi, says her daughter’s journey to the top has given her an enormous sense of pride.
“Girls are coming through at a really fast rate in the sport now, which is great to see. I never thought I’d see Faith in a ring. Before she took up Muay Thai she was such a drama queen and that’s one of the main reasons I sent her up to the gym in the first place to learn some discipline.
“But I never actually thought I’d see her fighting. I still remember when she had her first fight I was having heart palpitations! It’s okay now though and I find it a lot more exciting. She’s a terrific talent.
“I think she’s keen to do something in the sport when she’s older. She could even switch to UFC in the future but she’s still got a lot to achieve before she makes any decisions. She is still only 12. I think she’s quite keen on the coaching side of things too. She has a really good relationship with her coach Scott, who is really good to her.”