Mike sets sights on the Olympics
FRESH from the massive success of the big, world-championship fight night in Listowel recently, Golden Gloves Kickboxing coach Mike O'Brien now has his eyes trained on another global event - the Olympics.
Mike is now leading the charge in Ireland and the UK to have his beloved sport included in the Olympics.
Mike - who organised the massive fight night at the Community Centre on the Saturday night of the Races - is the World Kickboxing Federation (WKF) manager of Ireland.
He is now working with his UK counterpart and close friend Jimmy Byrne to lead the campaign for the inclusion of kickboxing in the Olympics, but the pair are encountering stiff resistance from other kick-boxing associations.
"I think it is high time that kickboxing is included in the Olympics," Mike told The Kerryman. "There have been many efforts over the years but they have all failed because it is so political in kick-boxing between all the different associations. I believe the WKF is the best organisation to bring fighters into the Olympics and I've joined up with the UK manager Jimmy Byrne, who was over for the big fight night, to get the campaign for the martial art's inclusion going."
Mike is meanwhile still celebrating after the five students he took to the Best of the Best Marital Arts Championship in Dublin came home with six medals!
The Best of the Best sees fighters from numerous codes, from kick-boxing to Kung Fu, competing for title in a range of categories.
"I was delighted with how we got on. We brought home two golds, won by my daughter Zoe and Sharon O'Sullivan, Luke O'Connor got a bronze, Pa O'Sullivan got silver and my other daughter Tisha got two bronze medals. It was fantastic!" he said.