Newtownabbey kickboxers taste success at 2023 Open World Championships
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The annual event in Barnsley saw seven fighters from the club, based at the Valley Business Centre, return home with medals.
Max Bothwell won three gold and one bronze, Daniel McLaughlin earned two silver, Amy-Leigh McDonald returned home with a haul of one gold and five silver, Andrew Russell won one silver and two bronze, Ella Cassells secured two gold, Ben Robinson earned four silver, Etta Choi won six gold and one silver and Louise Anderson returned with one gold and one silver.
The success saw Bodyshots finish ninth in the standings across all of the participating clubs and coupled with the success of Lurgan-based Fight Club NI KIckboxing K1 and Boxing Club, Northern Ireland finished third overall.
Coaches Stewart Beattie, Robert Cassells, Lauren McCone and Leia Cassells led the team to success at the event, which took place at the Metrodome Arena from August 4 until August 6.
Speaking to the Newtownabbey Times, senior instructor Lauren, herself a former competitor, said: “It’s a brilliant achievement for our fighters to return home with silverware.
"They train hard six times a week and this is worthy recognition for them. Everyone won at least two medals and this has continued our club’s success at the world championships.
“The club, which was founded by my father Stewart Beattie, has produced 72 world champions in approximately 15 years. We have been based at the Valley Business Centre for 10 years and previously we operated out of the Valley Leisure Centre.
"The coaches are all volunteers. Everything we do is self-funded. We love the sport and it’s fantastic to see all of the hard work paying off.
"Our members come from across Antrim and Newtownabbey and we have some from Larne. There is a good mix of students, both male and female and all ages.
“Kickboxing is becoming more high-profile and has been selected as a sport for the 2028 Olympic Games in LA. When I was competing, the sport didn’t have this recognition. It’s amazing that it will be shown to a wider audience on a global stage.
"If anyone is wishing to find out more about kickboxing, contact the Bodyshots Kickboxing Facebook page.”