Chris WhittleSt Helens College Foundation Degree in Exercise, Health and Fitness student Chris Whittle, 18, wowed the 5000 strong crowd at the Macron Stadium in Bolton when he emerged victorious in his UK ranking Muay Thai bout against Ross George from London.

Fighting for the UK seventh ranking Chris Whittle said, "Although it had to go to the judges I was confident I'd won". Confirming his belief, the judges returned with a unanimous decision in favour of Chris. Along with his success at international level Chris is also British Champion in two different fighting weights and is ranked 5th in the Yokkao Muay Thai variation.

Balancing his training with studying for his degree at St Helens College is all in a day's work for Chris. "I know a degree is a commitment but I feel it is worth it. I've always enjoyed sport and since I got interested in Thai boxing seven years ago, taking on the degree has only added to my enjoyment", Chris added.

Chris started his sporting journey whilst still at The Sutton Academy and with dedication and focus kept up his tough Muay Thai schedule whilst progressing onto and successfully completing a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport at St Helens College.

Sutton resident, Chris, says, "I'm very goal focused and I have two ambitions; eventually I want to have my own gym concentrating on Thai boxing. That's why I think it's so important that I have the correct academic qualifications to support my skills in the martial arts. The Foundation Degree in Exercise, Health and Fitness ticks all the right boxes for me to achieve this. My second ambition is to be world champion"

Chris is now well into the first year of his degree and says he's enjoying every minute. Chris says, "Don't get me wrong the course is no easy option, I have to put in a lot of study but the course leader – Chris O'Keeffe is very supportive and always has time for us."

You can find out more on the St Helens College Foundation Degree in Exercise, Health and Fitness by calling 0800 99 66 99.