Is­abel boxes clever to win a Messi top prize

Girl is on her way to Barcelona af­ter tak­ing Gamerz ti­tle

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - By Jon Batham tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­

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

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