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BELFAST'S Lord Mayor takes a few lessons


BELFAST'S Lord Mayor was taking a few lessons on how to defend himself in council chambers last night from kids he was at time more used to teaching!

The city's first citizen dropped into the Prokick Gym in east-Belfast to show the council's support for the growth in the sport of kickboxing with a handsome award from the Support for Sport initiative.

The former school-teacher was entertained with an exhibition in the art of kickboxing from young members of Prokick, aged from five to 12.

Billy Murray, the former four-time world champion and head coach at Prokick said recognition from the city council would spur him on to bring kickboxing to all fight fans.

“Northern Ireland is known throughout the world for its boxing and the legends it has produced over the years. At the moment there is a gap in the fight market because boxing is no longer a regular source of entertainment here. We have many boxing fans at our shows and we encourage our member to support boxing events too. I am determined to bring kickboxing to the masses, whether it’s for people interested in keeping fit, self-defence or competitive action, we will provide it all.”

The mayor, who received an honorary black belt on his visit, was put on the spot when he was asked to judge in an exhibition of technique with female members competing against Prokick’s young men.

In diplomatic fashion, he ensured a safe exit from by calling a draw.

“This is a fantastic outlet for children in the city and for adults of all ages,” said the Lord Mayor.

“The kids in the Prokick Gym would put me to shame! They follow a motto of Truth, Discipline and Respect, three very important values. It is important that people from different communities in Northern Ireland show respect for one another and I have no doubt the children in Billy Murray’s gym will keep these values up whatever they do in life.

He added: “I would be delighted to have Billy Murray’s pupils in my class as they are disciplined and well organised.”

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