What an achievement for Tipperary, the county and Ireland. Five kickboxers from the Tipperary Town Kickboxing Club went to Italy to represent Ireland in the world championships and five came back with world medals of gold, silver and bronze. It is unprecedented and the town is so proud.
Coach Craig Sutton, a previous national Irish kickboxing champion said, “I’m a bit shocked but it’s great. We went out with the intention to just get some experience but it’s just fantastic for the fighters and for Tipperary for us to come back with medals.”
Ten year old Alisha Chambers won gold becoming the new world champion earning the title of the best young kick boxer in the world and her Tipperary teammates also did a remarkable job bringing home two silver and two bronze medals.
11-year old Scott Carey Massey won a silver medal. “I didn’t think I’d be bringing back a medal at all and I’m over the moon” said young Scott. Scott’s grandfather William was very emotional about his grandson’s success when the Nationalist met the fighters and families at a celebration in the Maid of Erin pub when they returned. “I’m delighted for what he has achieved. I’m so proud of him and I love him.”
World silver medal winner 18-year old Lisa Moloney from Kilross described her journey.
“It was an amazing experience to compete for Ireland in the world championships. I never thought I would get an opportunity like this and winning a silver medal and becoming second in the world in my weight category is an indescribable feeling.”
Aoife Peters (18) from Rossadrehid won world silver. Her father Tom spoke about how proud they are of her success. “Aoife’s success in kickboxing, with guidance from St. Anne’s Secondary School, has enabled her to pursue a course in Outdoor Education in the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology. We are very grateful for the help and support she has received at home and in Italy and we are very proud of her achievements.”
Tipperary town’s sixteen year-old Chloe Quinn, who earlier in the year won the IKF Junior Light Contact National Kickboxing Champion for the second year in a row, brought home a world bronze medal. “I had two really hard fights against the UK and China and when I won my fight for bronze, the Irish team and Coach Craig were jumping up and down and hugging me and every one was just going mad,” said Chloe. “On returning home everyone was congratulating me and shaking my hand and that’s when I realised how much it meant to the town. To say I’m a two-time Irish champion and now a world bronze medalist… well I couldn’t be any happier and it’s time to chill a bit and then back to training I go.” Her mother Liz added, “I’m absolutely so proud of her and I think I’m going to start crying again… it’s so great.”
World gold-winning champ, ten-year-old Alisha Chambers, was welcomed back to the Gaelscoil Thiobraid Arann with a guard of honour from all the entire school. As the young champ walked into the school gates, the entire school formed an arch for her to walk under and cheered and clapped a pupil who had made history.
“I didn’t think I was going to win and I was crying and overwhelmed when I won gold,” said Alisha. Alisha’s grandparents Robert and Mary Swords from Pearse Park are very proud of her. “She’s a great girl and for a girl from a small little place to win a world medal is just brilliant,” said Grandpa Robert.
Adrian Alisha’s brother said, “When my mother rang and told me that Alisha had won gold I was just speechless. Well done to my little sis.”
Alisha’s mother Linda, who was the driving force alongside mums Margaret Carey Massey and Liz Quinn for the fundraising efforts to get the team out to Italy, spoke of the family’s experience. “When Alisha stood on the winner’s podium and they played the Irish Anthem whilst raising the Irish flag, as a parent, it was one of the proudest moments of our lives. It was overwhelming. The hard work and commitment of all the team paid off. Thank you to everyone in Tipperary who supported the fighters in an amazing fundraising effort before we went out to Italy. We hope that what the fighters have now returned your generosity with their achievements.”
Alisha’s father Troy had one word to describe the whole experience… “Phenomenal”