It’s a knockout! Combat sports event in Matlock

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Local students got the chance to touch knuckles with former international heavyweight boxer, Dermot Gascoyne as he supported an RDSSP combat sports event in Matlock.

Highfields School hosted the combat sports festival at Arc Leisure in Matlock on Monday 15 June, which saw years 7 to 9 students from Highfields School and Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth try their hand at a number of combat sports including boxing, judo, wrestling, taekwondo and fencing. They also fought against each other in various competitive games.

Anthony Gell students Jack Kirkman, Harvey Graham, Eve Millward and Frank Hall gave the event their seal of approval.

Jack said: “It was fun, I really enjoyed the wrestling, I’ve not done that before and I might join a club.”

Harvey commented: “I would like to join a fencing club. In taekwondo you do more kicking, punching and ground work whereas in judo you do more leg work and more contact.    It was a really good day.”

Eve added: “It was fun and a good opportunity to try new things.  I would consider joining a club.”

Frank said: “I like some contact sports but I prefer fencing and boxing.  I enjoyed the day very much.”

Highfields PE teacher and School Sports Coordinator, Jayne Allen said: “The festival was a great success and gave students an insight into sports they don’t often get to have a go at. We got great feedback from youngsters and now hope to look into existing local combat sports clubs for them to get involved with, or consider setting up new ones to cater for demand following the event.”

RDSSP Manager, Janice Price said: “I am delighted that Dermot was able to attend the event as he really inspired the young participants and encouraged them to get involved. Students showed interest in Dermot’s career and were eager to find out more about him, especially as he was a late starter in his sport, winning numerous titles as an amateur before becoming a professional fighter.”

“At the RDSSP, we hope to encourage young people across Derbyshire to achieve their sporting aspirations. Following the festival, students have expressed a keen desire to have another go at and get involved with the combat sports on offer; I endeavor to support them in finding enjoyment, fun and success in their chosen sport and reaching their goals.”


Read more about Dermot Gascoyne