After winning the WA championship in her division (girls under-32kg) in March, the nine-year-old began training for the national competition under the eye of her stepfather, who coached her squad at the Gosnells Police & Community Youth Centre (PCYC).
It was the second time she had qualified, but the first time she was too young to go.
Her mother, Nikki Treloar, said the PCYC sent a squad of seven to the national event, held from June 7 to 10 in Wollongong, New South Wales.
Isabella was the only one who placed.
‘It was her first national fight and I think I was more nervous than she was,’ Ms Treloar said.
‘She had to beg me to let her go, I took her to some matches to show her that she might get hurt, but she’s not intimidated by anyone.
‘She’s done this since she was four, but I never expected her to take it so seriously.’
Isabella was so serious about the competition, in fact, that she when she fell in the first round and did hurt herself, with a ‘gee burn’ on her arm from her uniform, that she refused to stop playing.
The persistence won her the bronze medal in her division.
‘She did really well,’ said her mother. ‘I am proud of her.
‘She doesn’t look like a fighter, you wouldn’t pick it; she’s polite and kind and very good at school.
‘She loves it and I don’t understand it at all, but I think it relaxes her.’