Meet Harley Guiver, a 7-year-old from Andover who is already making a name for herself in the world of competitive kickboxing.
Harley Guiver is not your average 7-year-old girl. She’s a competitive kickboxer who has already won six titles, two of which are British Champion titles. She’s now preparing for the 2023 season and has been selected to represent Team GB at the European Championships in Turkey in August. However, the costs associated with travel expenses are high, and Harley and her family are currently seeking sponsorship to cover some of them.
“My dad did kickboxing as a child, so when I was old enough, I joined his old club and have been hooked since,” Harley explains. She balances school and training by practicing three days a week after school. She admits that sometimes it’s hard and she gets tired, so when that happens, she will do just one training session that day. But she never lets that stop her from pursuing her passion for kickboxing.
“A typical training day for me is to help coach a younger class for 45 minutes, then I attend my age class, which is an hour long,” Harley says. “My class can have multiple different exercises like pad work, line work, sparring, self-defense, etc. After my class, I will attend the 10-12 year old class, which again is an hour long and may have similar exercises, but this session pushes me to train hard as the kids are older and harder to spar.”
Harley also has a pre-competition ritual that she follows. “I like to listen to music before and remind myself of tactics I can use when under pressure,” she says. When asked about the most challenging part of kickboxing for her, she replies, “The most challenging part of competing I would say is when I feel like I couldn’t find my way in/ see a way to score. I try to remember what I have achieved at a young age and think that this is a learning experience and next time I will be able to handle that.”
But Harley doesn’t let nerves or pressure get the best of her. “I try to remember that regardless of a win or loss, I will learn something today,” she says. “I think of tactics and remind myself of what I am capable of. Me and my coaches will do a little hype fist bump, which gets me ready.”
Harley is an inspiration to many, including young girls who are interested in kickboxing or martial arts. “Do not be too afraid to try it, it’s not as scary as it sounds,” she advises. “For girls, do not think it’s just a boys’ sport, girls are great and actually it’s so much fun.”
Harley’s goal for the 2023 kickboxing season is to get as much mat time as possible to be as ready as she can to go out to Turkey for the Europeans. “I hope to at least medal at the European championships,” she says.
Harley tells us of her inspiration in the sport “I have 2 females I look up to, Evelyn Neyens (Team GB) is amazing because she has this power to know what her opposition is thinking and is able to counter it without them seeing what is coming. I love to watch Francesca Cici (from Italy) because she has a power to own the mat, each fight is so controlled by her front leg, its so unmanageable but so cool. If I could be a mix of these 2 I would be so happy.”
Harley and her family are currently seeking sponsorship to cover some of the costs associated with travel expenses. In exchange for their generosity, sponsors will receive recognition on social media via Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Harley has a growing online platform, and as kickboxing is very male dominant, it would be an amazing opportunity for sponsors to support and help a female athlete reach her goals and make her dreams possible.
Harley Guiver’s journey is not just about kickboxing but also about empowering young girls in sport. She is breaking barriers and unleashing her inner warrior, inspiring others to do the same. The future of kickboxing needs more female empowerment in combat sports, and Harley Guiver is leading the way.