“ProKick Team Honoured By City Hall”
Belfast Lord Mayor Wallace Browne began the last month of his
term in office in the company of a breed of new champions from the
city’s most famous kickboxing gym.
The first citizen honoured fighters who had achieved title success
last month but it was he who was on the ropes when local artist
and kickboxer Daryl Campbell unveiled a unique portrait of Cllr
whose work is backed by celebrated artist Terry Bradley, captured
the Lord Mayor in front of the City Hall sporting boxing gloves
and his mayoral chain.
“I am absolutely stunned,” said Cllr Brown.
“I never expected to be framed with boxing gloves on. I wonder
how this would look alongside the other portraits in the City Hall?
“It’s a great compliment to have someone take the time
to do this as a gift and I’m thankful he was kind and took
a few pounds off me!”
New title holders Andrew Grimason, Peter Rusk, Lydia Braniff and
Cathy McAleer were also supported by Glentoran manager Paul Millar,
Glenavon boss Jimmy Brown and former Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers. Click
here to enlarge
Prokick Gym coach Billy Murray, who said: “Our visit to the
City Hall in recognition of the city’s kickboxing champions
was a first for the sport. Many great sportsmen and women have come
through the doors and it’s a big boost for us to now have
kickboxers listed among them.
“We have been literally kicking against the wind for many
years trying to gain respect for kickboxing and the Lord Mayor has
been a fantastic supporter during his term of office. He has attended
shows and I’m sure he would agree that in return, our shows
highlighted the positive attractions of Belfast and Northern Ireland."
During the recent trip to Scotland, east-Belfast man Andrew Grimason
returned with a WKN world title while Peter Rusk became the new
British cruiserweight champ. In December 2005, Belfast postal worker
Lydia Braniff won a world title to add to her British, Irish and
European belts and Cathy McAleer successfully defended her Celtic
Kickboxing shows in the city were also screened live across Europe
on the Eurosport network and highlighted in the USA and Asia.
The kickboxers are preparing for their next venture, a Northern
Ireland versus Switzerland showdown in Geneva on Saturday.
Andrew Grimason, Ian Young, Stuart Jess, world champ Gary Hamilton
and Prokick’s adopted son, Scotland’s Alexander White,
will travel to Switzerland.
"These are exciting times for kickboxing," added Murray.
"We had a massive success in 2005 and we will aim to top that
in 2006. We have two more live dates with Eurosport and we are hopeful
that Belfast will launch the European chapter of the World Combat
"Kids in Northern Ireland have been going wild about the wrestling
shows in Belfast recently. Wait ‘til they see the WCL, it’s
the next big thing."
Some other pictures form a great day at the city hall>>>>>>>>