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Rising Stars: Millie and Danny Short

All Areas > Sport > Boxing

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 3rd December 2021, 10:00

Millie Short Millie Short

Brother and sister Danny and Millie Short are often fighting… but happily for their parents it’s not with each other.

They’re not fighting with their mates either because 12-year-old Danny and Millie, 15, are boxers, and very good boxers they are too because they’ve already competed and won medals at national level.

And they see that as just the start because they have big ambitions to represent Great Britain at the Olympics and world championships before joining the professional ranks.

That’s a while off yet, of course, but if hard work, commitment and dedication count for anything, they’ve surely got a fighting chance, if you’ll pardon the pun.

“They train at Priory Park Boxing Club in Dudley three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” said their mum Zoe.

“And then there’s all the extra trips when they are competing in tournaments as well.”

And when you consider that the family live in Cheltenham – the children are pupils at Pittville School – that’s an awful lot of driving over the course of a week.

Not that Zoe minds at all.

“It’s really good,” she said. “It keeps them active, it keeps them off the streets.”

Zoe admits that neither she nor the kids’ dad, also Danny, are sporty, so it does beg the question, how did the children manage to get into boxing?

“A friend of ours opened a boxing gym in Cheltenham,” explained Zoe, “and Danny started going down there when he was four.

“He’s been at quite a few boxing clubs since then, but he loves his boxing.”

So what is it that he likes about a sport that is, after all, probably the toughest of all sports.

“I like the pressure of it and the hard work,” he told The Local Answer.

“I like the running, going on a diet, training most days.”

So, what does his training involve?

“Sparring, skipping, shadow boxing, running, bag work,” he said.

“I like the fact that it is an individual sport, I don’t have to think about anyone else, I just have to think about myself.”

And there’s plenty for young Danny, who boxes orthodox, to think about, of course, because once you are in that ring there is no place to hide.

So, what does he see as his strengths?

“My jab and my feet,” he said. “In boxing the feet are more important than the hands.

“If you’ve got good footwork you can get in and get out at different angles, that’s very important.”

Danny is currently fighting in the 34kg category – he recently won gold in the Barum Box Cup in Devon – but looking to the long-term, and if he realises his dream of turning pro, he reckons he may well be a lightweight.

That’s a way off, of course, but he’s already done his bit for the sport because it is through him that Millie got involved in boxing.

“I used to go up to Dudley because Danny was training there,” said Millie, who like Danny is supported by Gloucestershire-based sporting charity CASS & Friends.

“I used to do gymnastics but then I tried boxing and I found I really liked it.”

Millie, who recently won gold at the national junior championships, is a southpaw and she continued: “My backhand is my strength, I’ve got a good punch with my left hand.

“I like throwing punches and having fun in the ring, by moving around you become more confident.”

And confidence is not something that is in short supply with Millie, who boxes in the 44kg category.

“I want to fight for my country,” she said. “I want to go as far as I can, I want to represent Great Britain in the Olympics and world championships and then turn professional.”

And if they were both to realise their goals, mum and dad would be absolutely delighted of course.

“I’m really hoping they stick at it, they’ve been doing it for years,” Zoe said.

“It can be a bit nervous watching them but you can be injured in all sports, in football you can break a leg.

“If they protect themselves and fight properly they’re not going to get hit.”

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Danny Short

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