Wade and Lamari to kick on in Macedonia

by Dave Donnelly

TWO Lucan kids are to travel to Macedonia to represent Ireland at the WAKO Cadet and Junior European Championships in Skopje from September 2 to 10.
Ten-year-olds Amy Wade and Zach Lamari are both aiming for gold after being selected as part of the Irish kickboxing team to compete at the tournament in the former Yugoslav republic.
The duo train at Bushido Martial Arts Clondalkin and are the younger of the four competitors from the gym travelling to Macedonia as part of a team comprising more than 60 fighters and coaches.
Competing at junior level will be 16-year-olds Dean Murphy and Karyna Nikitina, the latter the reigning European and former world champion in point and continuous fighting.
Amy and Zach both compete in point fighting in the ages 10-12 category and, coincidentally, both compete in the -37kg weight division in girls and boys respectively.
Having only taken up kickboxing seriously in the past couple of years, the pair have experienced a meteoric rise under coach Ilija Salerno.
Both Amy and Zach are national champions in their age and weight classes having won gold at the National Kickboxing Championship in Citywest earlier this year.
“For both of them this is their first European Championships,” Andy Wade, Amy’s father, tells GazetteSport.
“They’re very young and inexperienced. They train, between the kickboxing and taekwondo, about six or seven times a week.
“They’re only really getting into everything within the past two years – there could be other kids fighting since they were four or five.
“But where they’ve gone in such a short period of time has been phenomenal. I can’t walk into my daughter’s room without seeing all the medals she has.”
While there’s no pressure on the kids to win, especially as they’re both on then younger side of the 10-12 grouping, they expect to compete given the success they’ve achieved at home.
“They are going over there, first and foremost, for experience, because they will qualify again.
“We’re hoping they medal. That itself would be a huge achievement for their first-ever European Championships.”
Ireland is currently ranked fifth in the world by the World Assocation of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO), behind Italy, Hungary, Russia and Great Britain.
As kickboxing is not an Olympic sport, and thus not funded by Sport Ireland, kickboxing is heavily reliant on private funding and sponsorship.
BMA Clondalkin has been helped by the patronage of Clondalkin and Lucan Credit Unions and is grateful for any additional sponsorship that helps cover the costs.
“The President of Kickboxing Ireland is trying to get it as an Olympic sport hopefully in the next 10-15 years.
“As it stands it’s not an Olympic sport and it’s not funded by Sports Ireland. 99% of the funding comes from the parents.”

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