Kickboxing equipment turns youngsters into winners
Published by Kelly Elliott for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
A County Durham kickboxing club which was able to expand thanks to a fundraising effort by the local community is celebrating its latest success after one of its members was crowned a British champion.
The North-East Kickboxing Academy in Burnopfield received a major boost two years ago after local individuals and businesses, including housing association Derwentside Homes, donated funds to kit out the space with high quality sports, training and exercise equipment.
The gesture has seen the club’s young members achieve fantastic success, no more so than 14-year-old Zachary Glendinning, from Lanchester, who recently won a major title at a tournament in Perth, Scotland.
Zachary has been a member of the club for four years and has been encouraged by his father David, who is a coach.
The 14-year-old’s achievement follows a successful couple of years for the club, including a strong performance at the World Organisation of Martial Arts Athletes World Games last year, where 13 of the 15 members competing returned with a medal.
Two years ago the club, based at the Burnopfield Community Centre, received a major boost after local people, councillors and businesses worked together to raise £9,500 to buy new equipment.
The money was also used to convert a former storage room into a state-of-the-art training space, while another room, which had a boxing ring installed but had no other equipment, was also fully kitted out, making it ideal for training bouts.
Among the business to support the fundraising effort was local landlord Derwentside Homes, which as well as donating £1,000 also used its contacts with local councillors and organisations to encourage others to donate, as well as providing procurement advice.
David Pye, Head of Development and Asset Management at Derwentside Homes said: “I am really pleased to hear that the club is progressing so well and a big congratulations to Zachary for his achievement.
“By working with our partners and the local community we have been able to make a real difference which has been demonstrated by the work that the club has carried out.
“It just goes to show what can be achieved with determination, enthusiasm, good quality equipment and of course excellent coaches and trainers.”
The North-East Kickboxing Academy is run by former world champion kickboxer, Wes Fagan, who recently retired from competing to concentrate on training the next generation of champions.
He now oversees a team of up to seven coaches, working with around 70 people during three weekly sessions at the club.
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