Kickboxing equipment turns youngsters into winners
Published by Craig Downs for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
Kick boxing stars from Burnopfield Community Centre, County Durham
Sports equipment which was donated to a local kickboxing club has helped turn a group of youngsters into world medalists.
A group of fifteen youngsters from the North East Kickboxing Academy in Burnopfield, County Durham, are praising the local community and businesses after returning from a major tournament with a clutch of gold, silver and bronze medals.
They say that the winning formula is down to the quality of the sports, exercise and training equipment which was donated to the club.
Last year, local people, councillors and businesses, including social landlord Derwentside Homes, who brought together funding providers and provided procurement advice, helped to raise £9,500 to buy the equipment. It also helped to convert one room, which was previously a storage room and equip another that previously had a boxing ring installed but had no other equipment.
All of the club members, aged between nine and 16, were selected for the British Freestyle Karate & Kickboxing Organisation (BFKKO) Great Britain Team and competed in the World Organisation of Martial Arts Athletes World Games, in Telford, Shropshire, at the end of August. Thirteen out of the 15 members returned with a medal and two others came in fourth place.
The club, established in 2009, is based at the Burnopfield Community Centre and boasts some of the most talented kickboxing youngsters in the North East. Former world champion kickboxer, Wes Fagan, 30, who alongside boxing legend Billy Hardy opened the facility in July last year, said: “I am over the moon with what they have achieved. They stood out from all of the other fighters.
“We are still a young club but I am very proud and I am sure we will have some future world champions come from this club.
“They are very dedicated and do everything that is asked of them. They are able to do things I could only ever dream of as a young fighter.”
David Pye, Head of Development and Asset Management at Derwentside Homes said: “I am really pleased to hear that the club is progressing and the youngsters are being rewarded and recognised for doing the sport that they love. The were part of Team GB at the World Games and being selected for the team was an achievement on its own and shows the benefit that quality sports and training equipment can provide.
“By working with our partners and the local community we have made a real difference which has been demonstrated by the work that the club has been able to do and also by the children achieving these medals. The club will continue to grow and will not only benefit other local children but the wider community.”
There are approximately 30 to 40 children actively involved in the club and all youngsters are welcome.
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