Local kickboxers do club proud

Local martial arts club Jan Ling Freestyle Kung Fu & Kickboxing Club have kept up their proud tradition of returning from every World Championships their fighters have competed in with medals.

Monday, 16th December 2013, 3:44 pm
Pic L-R Mervyn Carson, Ryan Sharpe, Josie Carson , Curtis Donnell & Darren Donnell.

Four fighters from the club set off to Taranta, Italy as part of the Northern Ireland WKC Kickboxing team to compete in their first ever World Championships, returning with 1 silver & 2 bronze medals.

Adding to the clubs previous Gold, Silver & Bronze haul from tournaments in Italy, Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Canada & USA.

Two of the clubs junior boys, Ryan Sharpe (12) & Curtis Donnell (11) had two tough fights coach Ernie Johnston explains, “ Curtis met the current English champion in his fight & Ryan the current USA champion, they both fought brilliantly, losing out to fighters who both went on to win the World titles, a tough introduction to the World Championships but they both did really well and proved they deserved to be on that stage.

Ryan & Curtis have only really been training seriously for a year and have taken the points fighting & light contact circuit in Northern Ireland by storm this year, big things are expected of these two talented youngsters.

The ‘Carson Clan’ kept up the clubs tradition, bringing back 3 medals.

Josie Carson (8) won a Silver & Bronze medal. When Josie was 5 years old she was diagnosed with ad/hd and her doctor later suggested she should get into a sport that was physical and mentally draining so she picked kickboxing. ‘Josie finds concentrating in class difficult but she has surpassed any ambitions we had for her this year states coach Ernie, ‘ she loves training and her dedication has paid off for her, she’ll go from strength to strength as she makes light of her disability and wins many more trophies & medals.’

Her dad , Mervyn Carson (42) began training last year and returned from Italy with a Bronze medal in the veterans division. His coach Ernie tells us “ I’ve been friends with Mervyn for over 30 years and it was nice to see him join our class. At first he just trained as his daughter was in the club. Mervyn very quickly became dedicated and decided he wanted to compete in the worlds. He took all the punishment in training I dished out to him and came back for more. He kept saying throughout our 13 week training regime for the Worlds that he’s coming back with a medal and he was right, it couldn’t happen to a nicer and more dedicated man. “

The club would like to take this opportunity to congratulate previous students on their success in Italy. Gary Dickson for retaining his world title and Angela Swan for winning silver.

Unfortunately there isn’t much video coverage of the fighters in Italy, though if anyone is interested in seeing what the sport is all about and what the atmosphere is like at the World Championships they should type in ‘Morgan Plowden v Northern Ireland’ into YouTube and they will see how Angela Swan faired in her final against the young American opponent.

If anyone is interested in taking up the sport they should contact Ernie Johnston on 07826528200, the club trains on Tuesday nights in Ballykeel community centre & Thursday night in Ballymena North Recreation Centre.

The club are currently in training for the 2014 WKC qualifiers at the end of January 2014. The World Championships are in Dublin next October where the club hope to continue their success.