BOXING trainer and former NSW amateur champion David Birchell has been like a second dad to the Metcalf family — and it's paying off.
Marizza Medcalf, 18, is an Australian junior champion; younger sister Lolli, 14, is a state and two-time Golden Gloves champion; brother Axx, 16, is a state novice champion, and the baby of the group, Electra-Shenika, 11, could just prove to be the best.
"She weighs about 42 kilograms," said Birchell.
"But she already is beating up much older girls, weighing about 62 kilograms, in the gym."
The Gymea trainer, who runs a new Caringbah gym with partner and former pro champion, Ryan Waters, often takes the children into his own home to save on family expenses.
"Their father is a single dad, so I know the family are battlers and have done it tough," said Birchell.
"The family is a real delight. Australian gold medallist Marizza is really like Daniel Geale (former world champion).
"She prepares studiously for any fight and looks after herself daily. She boxes at 48 kilograms but she has won right up to 64 kilograms."
He said the family, like so many other battlers, had benefited from the rigours and discipline associated with the sport.