SUPER SIX: Kickboxers heading off to Ireland for World Championships
A team of six martial art aces from Bradford are preparing to jet off over the Irish Sea later this week as they aim to cement their place at the top of their game.
David Blair, Harris Qurban, Kevin Giscome, Robbie Kennedy, Mohammed Shaban and Kamran Hussain make-up the contingent of competitors from Physical Impact Kickboxing Club who have qualified for the Senior WKKC World Kickboxing Championships.
Fighting across different categories, the team – headed up by club founder Mohammed – are aiming to clinch a medal haul in Dublin, with five of the fighters making their World Championship debut.
Mohammed explained how the athletes had been putting in the hours in the gym ahead of the finals and was confident of a successful tournament.
“The amount of effort all these lads have put in is amazing,” he said. “Monday to Friday, for the past eight weeks, we have all been up at 5am to hit the gym for six.
“The dedication and commitment it has taken to get to this level is something we are all extremely proud of and by qualifying for these finals, it shows that putting in hard work brings rewards with it.
“I’m 38 now and have been doing this for 22 years. To be heading off to the World Championships with a great group of guys is so exciting.”
Kicking off on Monday 31st October, the Bradford fighters will compete throughout the week as they aim to seal a Gold medal.
From lightweight through to heavyweight, the club is represented in a range of weight divisions, while Mohammed will be fighting in the early veteran’s category.
“Last year we only had one person qualify for the finals which was Robbie. This year we have had six seniors and four juniors,” Mohammed added.
“It is a massive achievement for such a small club in the middle of Bradford. To get six people to go out and represent the country is amazing.
“We had four juniors who qualified as well but were unfortunately unable to travel. Next year we are hoping to see these young kids make an impact on the national stage after excelling locally.”
Since the club was founded four years ago, Physical Impact has seen its membership grow from just 20 students to almost 150.
Training throughout the week, children and adults of all abilities practice in kickboxing – a sport Mohammed says all communities can get involved in.
He added: “Our students represent the whole community, every race, every culture. Kickboxing is a sport for everyone.
“These last four years have been a rapid rise for us as shown by our six fighters heading off to Ireland this weekend. Hopefully we can win some medals and keep building on the success of this club.”