When the ‘Titans Kickboxing Club’ started in Limavady 12 years ago, they had just eight members training at what was a popular nightspot in its day, the Gorteen House Hotel.
More than a decade on, and with a strong register of 50 or so members of all ages, the club, training twice a week from Limavady Football Club, is turning out champion after champion, at all levels, from Northern Ireland to world status.
Their most recent success was courtesy of Morgan McKinney, Ruiari McConway and Liam McLaughlin who brought home seven medals, including three golds, from the World Kickboxing Association World Championships in Florida.
Ruairi won a bronze in the points division and in the team event. Morgan won both his sections and retained his world titles, and picked up bronzes in the team and Kumite sections, while Liam retained his world title. The Club dedicated the wins to “their late friend and Titan, Kyle Ferguson who passed away when the boys were in America”.
“We’re really starting to make our mark now,” says founder and former kickboxing champion, Willie Lowry, who said the club’s name was inspired by the movie ‘Clash of the Titans’.
Evidence of just how well the Club is doing can be seen from the amount of medals and trophies members bring home each year from competitions around the globe.
Since 2007 the Titans have won 62 World medals and, on average, take home 300 medals and trophies each year from other compteitions, says Willie.
While the Limavady man and his fellow coach, Collins McGowan are delighted and proud of the kickboxers’ success, it doesn’t come cheaply and the club has lobbied local politicians to help in their quest to secure funding.
“We fund it ourselves, out of our own pockets,” says Willie. “We try to fundraise but hotels, flights, well it all adds up. It’s big money.”
In the meantime, the club continues to do its bit to promote Limavady and the north. Willie says no matter where they go to compete, fellow competitors always want to take home the Northern Ireland track top.
“We’re definitely putting Limavady on the map,” he says, adding the club is hoping to organise an international conference in Limavady next year, attracting teams from all over Europe. He praised Patricia Murphy, who presides over WKA Northern Ireland, for her support for the Titans.
“Patricia has done so much for the sport and is heavily involved with us,” he said.
Limavady Titans Kickboxing Club trains on Tuesdays and Thursday from 7-8.30pm, at Limavady Football Club on Rathmore Road.
“If you are looking for an excellent way to keep fit and learn Martial Arts then why not join the Titans?” said Willie. “The sport is ideal for getting in shape and improving your self-confidence, and the friendly atmosphere means it is an enjoyable experience whether you are male or female. Beginners are more than welcome as the club caters for all levels from beginners to World Champions.
“The Club has a wide variety of members from 5 years old to 40+ both male and female of all levels of fitness and experience. So why not come down and give it a try?”
For more information visit limavadytitans.co.uk