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  • Northside West

Success for Northside kickboxers

Saturday, 30th September, 2017 10:00am
Success for Northside kickboxers

Pictured at the championships are (l-r): Robyn McDonnell, Eliza Bluma, Jon Mackey, Dayna Walsh, and Nazreen Flannery.

Success for Northside kickboxers

Pictured at the championships are (l-r): Robyn McDonnell, Eliza Bluma, Jon Mackey, Dayna Walsh, and Nazreen Flannery.

FOUR local girls who train out of Red Star Kickboxing in Glasnevin were part of a strong Irish team who took part in the WAKO European kickboxing championships for juniors in Skopje, Macedonia, earlier this month.

Ireland had 62 junior fighters across different age groups and weight categories at the tournament including Finglas girls, Eliza Bluma and Robyn McDonnell, and Dayna Walsh and Nazreen Flannery from Cabra.

The Northside foursome were selected to represent Ireland earlier in the year after meeting very comprehensive criteria set down by Kickboxing Ireland that ensures the very best competitors are selected for the national team. 

The four local girls spent their summer holidays training hard five days a week at their Red Star club as well as training with national coaches and the rest of the Irish team.

And their hard work and dedication paid off with three of the girls earning spots on the winner’s podium and Nazreen putting in a very strong performance for her first international tournament. 

Dayna Walsh claimed herself a WAKO  (World Association of Kickboxing Organisations) bronze medal in the -50kg division having dispatched Greece and Italy in the opening rounds.

She was eventually stopped in her tracks by a German in the semi final leaving the young Cabra girl on the third place podium but with a very hard-earned and fully deserved bronze medal.

Robyn McDonnell fought out of her skin to make the final of her weight category of -65kg's.

She beat the tournament favourite from Slovenia in the opening round and then went on to beat a Russian.

Robyn just lost out on points to a strong Italian in the final but earned herself a WAKO silver medal, which was an amazing achievement for what was only her second big international tournament. 

Eliza Bluma is no stranger to the winner’s podium, as she’s already a current world champion and she entered into this European championships as one of the hot favourites.

However, she was up against it from the beginning, drawing fighters from three strong countries in the preliminary rounds, Spain, Italy and Croatia.

She fought cleverly and tactically to make her way to the final of the -55kg division where she met a much taller Russian opponent.

But the fiery Northsider wasn't put off and stuck to her game plan and won the division to the delight of the travelling Irish supporters and her coach of the last eight years, Jon Mackey.

Naturally, Mackey had nothing but praise for his female fighters after their fine performances.

"We had a really good tournament,” he said.

“The girls were so well prepared both physically and mentally and it showed in their performances.

“We spent the entire summer training and getting ourselves ready for this tournament.

@WAKO is the only international kickboxing organisation that can offer such a prestigious tournament.

“The standard of the kids coming through our sport at the moment is phenomenal, and every year the skill of our juniors just keeps improving.

“As a coach, it's really exciting. I'm immensely proud of our four girls and of course of the entire Irish team, which ranked fourth on the post tournament medal table.

“I would like to extend a special thank you to all the parents, club members and friends of Red Star Kickboxing who helped out with fundraising for this trip.

“So to everyone who packed a bag, and to everyone who donated spare cash, who sponsored and who helped organise our fundraising events, on behalf of the four girls and their families - THANK YOU!"


Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here