A fundraiser has been launched to get two girls to Dubai to compete in a major youth martial arts competition. Oakley Hocking, 14, from Whitehaven and Sophie Price, 17, from Seascale, have both been selected to represent England in the upcoming Youth MMA World Championships.

The pair, who train at Tapout Knockout in Workington with Trevor Cunningham, need to raise £4,500 for travel and costs associated with taking part in the event.

Oakley’s dad Grant Hocking said: “Oakley and her team mate have both been going to the England squad trials for the last few months with some of the other people from our club.

“They’ve just announced the squad for the youth world championships and they have both been picked. They were chuffed.

“I’m very proud of her. She’s been doing it since she was five years old.”

Oakley and Sophie beat off competition from other clubs across the country to be selected for the squad, after attending trials in Liverpool, Birmingham, Sunderland and Nottingham.

Mr Hocking said they have struggled to get funding for the trip because MMA is not officially recognised as a sport by Sport England.

Fundraising has now begun to help pay for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Mr Hocking said he was in the process of approaching business owners for support and an online fundraising page has been set up.

To donate, go to: www.gofundme.com/f/help-oakley-sophie-represent-england