Students of Kickfit Wicklow show what they’re made of ahead of ISKA Irish Open tournament

The young students at Kickfit Wicklow showed off their moves for TD John Brady, who rightly remarked “I wouldn’t want to be fighting THEM.”

(Pictured above: Top L/R Adam Doyle, Olivia Levy, Leah Wynne, Ben Jameson, Dylan Moorehouse, Luke O’Meara, Paul White, Josh Graham. Bottom L/R Ciaran O’Connor, Oliver Wynne, Flora-Mae Wynne, Bobby McDaid, Adam White, Sean Levy, Jake White, Luka Tropiman.)

WicklowNews caught up with the students and trainers at Wicklow’s Kickfit kickboxing club ahead of their entry to the ISKA Irish Open, an event that will see the very best of Ireland’s rising young talent in ring sports, K1, low kick, full contact kick boxing, and light contact rules.

From their gym and headquarters on Quarantine Hill in Wicklow Town, Kickfit are a kick boxing club with a very special purpose – showing young people that they can reach their fullest potential with dedication and inner-discipline.

Coach Paul White can’t contain the praise he has for his students, lauding their dedication to learning and progressing in the sport of kickboxing.

In training.

“They’re training all the time. Some are working and going to school but still keep on top of their training.” he tells us as two youngsters make full use of the gym that has become like a second home to many of them.

He tells us about the upcoming ISKA Irish Open and the positive impact that kickboxing has had on the lives of his students. Children and teens who may not be interested in more traditional sports like GAA or football have found a love for kickboxing, and a home in Kickfit. And while Paul laments that there was nothing like Kickfit going on in Wicklow when he was young, he says that teaching his students and sharing his knowledge of kickboxing with them is just as rewarding as being in the ring himself.

Kickfit member Josh Graham tells us that he would love to see the Wicklow community getting behind the youngsters, who he says put so much effort into their training that it is a shame that more people in the community are not aware of the group.

Josh has just recently returned from a month-long training session in Thailand, which he says was an eye-opening experience to say the least. “My shins are in bits, but I’m a better fighter for having done it.” he laughs.

The younger members of Kickfit are trained by Olivia Levy (16) and Leah Wynne (18), who themselves juggle their time at the gym with their school work and jobs. And even with the pressures of education and the workplace, the two still put the greatest effort into training the youngsters and showing them what is possible when one puts their mind to something.

Sinn Féin TD John Brady visited to wish the young kickboxers luck ahead of their competition, which takes place in Derry on August 6th. And while Mr. Brady has a history with in-ring sports himself, he was massively impressed by the display put on by the younger members as they showed off their very best moves on the mat.

TD John Brady speaking with Paul, Olivia, and Leah from Kickfit.

Brady remarked how important it was to have something like Kickfit in the Wicklow community, and he praised the trainees as well as the coaches for their hard work and dedication to the craft.

Amanda Spiteri, who founded Ray of Sunshine after-school services in Wicklow and is also involved with Kickfit, told us of the benfits that the younger members get from the club.

“There’s social benefits and a real sense of belonging. On Saturday mornings they all go for a run and a swim together, so there’s a lot of mentorship. The coaches really bring them out of their shells. It’s really beautiful to see what’s happened in the club there.” she says.

The ISKA Amateur Irish Open is taking place in the Templemore Sports Complex in Derry on Saturday the 6th of April.

We would like to wish everyone at Kickfit the very best of luck, whether it’s their first time to compete or just their latest. All of Wicklow is behind you.

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