A club that trains adults and juniors in a form of martial art is going from strength to strength and has developed champion fighters.
Renegade Muay Thai was established in 2015 by Bedlington resident Ian McBride. Sessions take place at the Emulous Martial Arts and Fitness Centre in West Sleekburn.
The junior section began in 2017 and four of the youngsters – Steven Burrows, Jess Dawson, Chloe Pannifer and Elise Pannifer – have already achieved a UK ranking of number one or number two in their categories and won some prestigious titles.
Ian started kickboxing and karate at the age of eight. He began Muay Thai training 10 years ago and was based at The Faktory in Newcastle for a number of years.
He said: “I enjoyed the Muay Thai training and fighting, although I spent more time coaching the juniors and cornering the adult fighters than fighting myself.
“I had injury problems with my knees in 2014 and knew there wasn’t a club like this in the Bedlington area, so I started looking at setting one up.
“I spoke with Kenn Forrest, who runs the Emulous Martial Arts and Fitness Centre, and the Renegade Muay Thai sessions started there the following year.
“Some of the adults coming along asked if I could coach their children as well and so a junior section was established.
“Our coaching team includes Paul Morris who I knew from The Faktory. He is one of the best in the UK and some of our juniors have won national and European titles, with Steven (Burrows) holding the World Open title.
“But the main aim of the club is to give youngsters in the area something regular to do that is good for their fitness and discipline. On average, our sessions attract about 15 adults and 15 to 20 juniors.”
For more information about the club, call Ian on 07852 961949 or go to the Renegade Muay Thai Facebook page.