Two Moray teenagers are preparing to fight their way to fulfilling their dream of competing in the Olympics.
Dylan Banfield and Adele Williamson, who both train at Elgin’s Kaizen Kickboxing gym, are two of only three Scots to be named in the British squad for next month’s European Championships.
The youngsters will now be out to make their mark against the best fighters on the continent in the intense heat of Macedonia.
Yesterday, Dylan, a fifth-year student at Lossiemouth High School, was hard at work pounding the bags while proudly wearing his Great Britain uniform.
The teenager works on his flexibility to ensure he can swing a foot at head-height in an attempt to knock his opponent down.
The effort is on top of a gruelling 11-hour a week training regime while adhering to a strict diet of vegetables, fish and chicken.
However, the Lossiemouth kickboxer, who took up the sport when he was just six, believes the workouts are worth it to have a shot at representing his country at the Olympics.
He said: “I stepped up a weight this year, it was the right time for me just because I’m still growing.
“I get a big buzz from it. There’s a real sense of achievement when you accomplish something.
“Sometimes the training is hard, but it’s worth it in the end.
“It would be good to fight in the Olympics in the future. It would be good for the sport to get the recognition too.”
Kickboxing is currently going through the processes in order to be classified as an Olympic sport.
Dylan and Adele, who attends Elgin Academy, won their places in the squad despite intense competition from other WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organisation) fighters across the country.
The duo regularly travel across the country in the search for elite fighters their own age to spar against.
Dylan’s mum Debbie Parker-Banfield said: “We took him in when he was six to work on his confidence. I think they saw potential in him and it’s went from there.
“It takes a lot of commitment. We head down to London once a month just for sparring sessions. There’s nobody at their level and age up here.”