YOUNG Thai boxers from across the country competed for a chance to represent the nation at a contest in County Durham over the weekend.

Around 100 fighters aged between six and 17-years-old competed in the UK Junior Muay Thai Superleague competition at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre on Saturday (December 1).

It was the first time the contest had been staged in the North-East and competitors, including fighters from County Durham and Darlington, fought for points to help them secure a place in the UK Thai Boxing Team.

Ellis Corrie, 15, from Darlington, was one of those to win a place in the team, after fighting his way to victory in the under 65 kilogram (kg) 15 to 17-year-old category.

Ellis, who is a member of Darlington Boxing and Martial Arts Academy (DBMAA), will represent his country in the World Championship in Turkey in March.

His teammate, nine-year-old Josh Shaw from Bowburn, County Durham, also did well, narrowly missing out on first place in the under 30kg nine to 11-year-old category.

Paul Hamilton, of DBMAA, said the event had been a great success, with hundreds turning out to support the young boxers.

“Thai boxing is a growing in popularity, as it’s a spectator sport and is full of action,” he said. “The aim is to get the kids off the streets and away from the computerand encourage them to get fit and have fun together.”