Isabel boxes clever to win a Messi top prize
Girl is on her way to Barcelona after taking Gamerz title
WATCHING Lionel Messi’s Barcelona at the Camp Nou Stadium is the prize awaiting one Bucks schoolgirl after she scooped the Active Gamerz top prize this week.
Isabel Parnaby will watch the Champions League winners take on Rayo Vallecano on October 17 as reward for being crowned Most Valuable Player for 201415.
The 11-year-old, who will be off to Holmer Green Secondary School in September after leaving Widmer End on Tuesday, had to win the hard way in the multisports competition run in association with schools in Bucks and Berks.
However, having floored her male opponent in the decisive boxing contest, she is now dreaming of a photo with the best footballer on the planet.
She said: “I’m very excited about seeing Barcelona. I doubt a selfie with Lionel Messi will be possible, but I’d definitely be up for it.”
Nine months ago, 1,400 hopefuls started out in the junior competition for nine to 11 yearolds, but by finals day only eight remained.
Each quarter finalist chose one sport with which to take on their opponent, with a third random choice being made by organisers to act as a tie-breaker as necessary.
Archery is Parnaby’s usual trump card, a suprising development for someone who according to mum Sam ‘never sits still’, yet it seems her daughter has become something of a natural.
“I watched Isabel and she was like a statue apart from the parts which have to move to make the shot. She was so focused,” she said.
A loss in one of her weaker sports, tennis, meant she faced a boxing tie-breaker to decide her quarter-final with Jack Coneely, but her rival was swept aside within one round.
With archery and long jump skills to the fore, she stormed through her semi-final and now only St Michael’s Catholic Primary pupil Sam Kipping stood between Parnaby and Spain.
Archery gave her the first point once more, but when Kipping opted for boxing the showdown was on and she could not have made a worse start, getting knocked down twice inside 20 seconds.
She fought back to floor Kipping twice, but under the three-knockdown rule she was in trouble again at the end of the round when the bell came to her rescue.
TheTh next t round dt too saw P Parnabyb visit the canvas twice, meaning Kipping just had to survive the last round to force the tie-break.
However, back came Parnaby again to force two knockdowns before, with both competitors tiring, she found the decisive blow.
While the prize was great, Parnaby’s reaction suggested the winning itself mattered just as much.
“It happened in quite a few of the rounds that I got knocked down. I don’t know, but maybe having that happen gave me the motivation to try harder.
“I had hardly any life left, but I just believe in don’t give up until the fight is actually over.”
So what now? Well, new sporting challenges lie ahead as secondary school beckons.
“I’ll have a go at most sports really,” she added. “I’d like to try triathlon next.”
Would-be rivals can consider themselves warned.
SILVERWARE: Isabel Parnaby, with her sporting trophies, will be watching Lionel Messi in action