Ballymena’s Rodney Moore was the centre of attention at Cullybackey College’s Sports Awards Assembly recently.
Afterwards some pupils had the opportunity to take ‘selfies’ with the recently-retired Mixed Martial Arts fighter.
As a competitor, the Harryville man – who retired to concentrate on his IMMA Gym in Ballymena – fought the best cage fighters in the world.
In fact Dean Lister, regarded by many as the best UFC fighter in the world, rates Rodney as one of the best instructors, and it is clear to see how much respect the two fighters have for one another.
After Rodney had presented medals and certificates to winning athletes, special Personality of the Year awards in each of the team activities – football, rugby, hockey and netball - were handed out to pupils who had shown dedication, determination and sportsmanship during the past year.
But it was the sportsmanship element that Rodney was keen to emphasise after telling the audience how he got into the MMA game.
Mr J. Kelso, Head of PE at Cullybackey College taught Rodney and spoke highly of him.
“The qualities of respect, sportsmanship, discipline in training and sheer determination to reach his chosen goals are all qualities that any young sportsman should try to adopt. Many young people can learn from people like Rodney.”