Published 21/01/2014 | 05:40
The outstanding achievements of Collooney Kickboxing Club were honoured at a Civic Reception in City Hall last Thursday.
The club, which has enjoyed a phenomenal run of success since it was formed ten years ago, enhanced its reputation with World and European titles in 2013.
Eight junior members of the club travelled to the European Championship in Poland, returning with one gold and two bronze medals.
18-year-old Aine Leonard from Riverstown won a gold for the third year in a row while Daniel Moroney from Ballincarrow and James Duffy from Collooney both won bronze medals.
There was further success for the club when 20-year-old Dessie Leonard won a bronze medal at the World Combat Games in Russia in November. Only the top eight fighters in the World competed in this prestigious tournament and Dessie performed brilliantly to take home a bronze medal.
The rollercoaster of success continued in December when the club had five qualifiers for the World Kickboxing Championships in Turkey and the Sligo fighters were among the medals.
Aine Conlon, who has been involved in kickboxing for 25 years, won two silver medals while Dessie Leonard won a silver and bronze medal.
While paying tribute to the achievements of these outstanding athletes, last week's Civic Reception also honoured all members of the club who have represented Sligo with great distinction on the national and international stage.
Tributes were paid to club coach, Des Leonard, who has guided the fortunes of the club over the last ten years.
Mayor, Clr. Marcella McGarry, recalled that she had witnessed at first hand the enthusiasm of the club when she visted a Family Fun Day at Markree to raise funds for sending members to the European Championships.
She said it was hard to believe the club was only ten years in existence, given its remarkable achievements on the national, European and World stage. Another demonstration of the club's success was the fact that 8 juniors and 5 seniors had qualified for the Irish national team, the Mayor added.
She said the club was looking forward to another successful year in 2014, starting with the Irish Open Championships in 2014.
Members of Sligo Kickboxing Club and their coach, Michael McDermott, were among the guests at the reception.
They were also congratulated on the great success they've enjoyed in recent years.