Kyle's Olympic dream is alive and kicking

Kyle Moore has his hand raised in victory in the final of the European Junior Championships in Hungary.
Kyle Moore has his hand raised in victory in the final of the European Junior Championships in Hungary.

TALENTED DERRY kickboxer, Kyle Moore is heading in the right direction in pursuit of his Olympic dream as the youngster continues to impress at the highest level.

He’s been fighting competitively since the age of five and the hard work and sacrifices are beginning to pay off with significant success at top ranked events around the world.

2019 has been a magnificent year so far, winning 25 medals in total, including 13 golds, nine silver and three bronze.

However, last week the brave 12 year-old travelled to Hungary where he was crowned World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO) -42kgs European Junior champion following four hugely impressive performances at the fantastic Audi Arena in Gyor.

It was an outstanding achievement for the St Columb’s College pupil given there’s a total of 1,991 entries from 39 European countries involved in the prestigious event.

Even more impressive was the fact he had to come through an eliminations process in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan beforehand to ensure qualification for the Ireland national team. So it’s been quite a journey for the local schoolboy.

Kyle pictured with his trophy  after winning gold in Hungary.

Kyle pictured with his trophy after winning gold in Hungary.

The WAKO federation has been provisionally recognised as a member body of the International Olympic Committee which is a huge step towards becoming a fully fledged Olympic sport and Kyle is hoping the Games will adopt kickboxing into its itinerary by the time he is old enough to compete.

It’s hoped the sport will be pencilled in for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles which, despite his tender age, is the ultimate goal for Kyle.

“As soon as I heard that WAKO was recognised by the International Olympic Committee it was just amazing,” said Kyle. “My first thought was that one day I could be an Olympic gold medalist and fighting for Ireland. I’ll keep working hard and stay focused on my goals.”

And despite his phenomenal success with the Ireland team at the European Championships, he’s not prepared to rest on his laurels as he returns to training at Kelly’s Freestyle Martial Arts (KFMA) in Foreglen to prepare for the WAKO Flanders Open in Antwerp, Belgium at the end of the month.

A welcome sight for the young Derry lad.

A welcome sight for the young Derry lad.

As a member of Don Bosco’s Football Club in the Derry & District Youth F.A., Kyle makes lots of sacrifices with his time, finance, diet and energy as he chases his kickboxing dreams and his father, Paul couldn’t be prouder.

“Kyle has been playing with Don Bosco’s since he was five years-old as well and plays for the 2007 age group,” explained Paul.” He trains twice a week with them and plays matches on a Saturday morning.

“This year they secured a place in the National League - a first for Don Bosco’s. They competed in the Foyle Cup in the summer, going on to win the Plate.”

In Hungary it was a tough passage to the final but Kyle made swift work on his first round fight against German opposition, winning 16-6.

On to the quarter-finals and Kyle defeated his Great Britain opponent 5-1 in a dominant performance before a 4-2 win over a Hungarian secured his place in the final.

There he met another German but emerged victorious on a 12-8 scoreline to be crowned 2019 WAKO European Junior champion.

So how did he feel when he had his hand raised? “I felt a massive buzz hearing the Irish fans cheering as the referee put my hand up in victory. It was a feeling I will never forget

“I couldn’t wait to get over to my parents because I knew how much this meant to them. It was the best feeling seeing how proud they were of me.”

Next up is the Flander Open in Belgium before he competes at the Bristol Open in October and already he’s planning to travel to the WAKO Golden Glove in Venice in January 2020.

With lots of travelling expense and no government aid despite training as a professional, it’s difficult for Kyle and his family to maintain his Olympic goal. And they would greatly appreciate any local businesses getting on board to help him excel in the sport.

If interested please contact his father on paulmoo2@hotmail.com