12-year-old boxer Paris Smith will make history when she competes at the schoolgirls European Championships on Friday.

Smith will become the first female fighter from York to represent England at a major tournament when she competes in the 11-day event in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

Fighting out of the Legions Gym in Clifton Moor, Smith will be aiming to add a continental medal to the national title she won earlier this year via a second-round knockout in the final against the reigning champion.

Ashley Martin, head coach at Legions Gym expressed his pride in Smith securing such a prestigious honour.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for Paris to be selected by England and she’s done the club proud,” Martin said.

“To the best of my knowledge, Paris is the first ever boxer from a boxing club in York that has been selected for an international tournament by England. She’s definitely the first female fighter to do so.”

“Paris started boxing here a couple of years ago and initially she just came to watch her brother train.

“I then encouraged her to get involved and you could see from the first time that she put a pair of gloves on that she had something special.

“Her strength and power is incredible. She’s had 14 fights and won 11 of them, with 10 knockouts and 8 of those have come in the first round.

“One of those defeats, she’s avenged and we’ve got rematches lined up for those other defeats.”

“To reach the European Championships is a massive achievement and one that she should be really proud of.”

Although this is the first time Smith has made such a step up in calibre of opponent, Martin is backing her to bring a Gold medal back to York.

“From the 60 boxers that won national titles this year, England are only taking 20 to Georgia for the European Championships,” he explained.

“Of that group, Paris was one of the 20 and I think that says a lot about how highly they think of her, and they must have belief in Paris that she can win a gold medal.

“Paris is a dangerous fighter. She’s got the skills, the strength, the fitness. She can do everything.

“As long as she believes in herself, I really think she can go all the way. If she can perform to the best of her ability, she can come home with a gold medal.”

Of the gym’s other success stories, Martin added: “It’s not just Paris though. We’ve got a couple of other national champions from this season in Riley Holmes and Riley Edeson.

“Because of their ages, Paris is the only one that was eligible for selection by England. They’ve all done the club proud.”

Smith and Legions Gym are sponsored by SAY Scaffolding and My Reset - Massage Therapist.