Teenage kickboxer Kai takes world crown much to proud coach and gym owner dad
Stockton Gym Contender is enjoying hard-earned success as it battles the pandemic – winning gold and prestige fights at the world championships, and entering the combat sports entertainment market.
Like many businesses and clubs, Contender endured a disastrous covid-imposed 2020, losing members and income and mourning the death of fighter Adrian Brian.
The basement gym and Thai boxing may celebrate good news for morale starting in the new year, but after winning gold, two silvers and bronze at the World Open Championships in the World kickboxing organization.
Kai’s son, gym owner and head coach Garry Bell won the under 59kg gold in K-1 after winning five fierce fights in two one-minute rounds in a ring at Barnsley Metrodome lively.
The 14-year-old also won bronze at 60kg as teammates Sonny Jones, nine, and CJ Solomon, 11, won silver medals in the 30kg and 54kg weight classes. The senior Contender fighters based at Yarm Street are also very successful.
British CPFF featherweight champion Nathan Dryden continued his long unbeaten streak with a points victory over Newark’s Chase Griffin, marking a reversal in the process, in a fight show at Sheffield United football ground , Bramall Lane. And Matt Richardson snatched the ISKA 72kg title on 10 days’ notice, his opponent Phil Robbins retiring late in the fourth round in his hometown of Lincoln after being peppered with low kicks.
Additionally, Contender’s Jab, Cross, Hook card game – designed by Garry Bell during the lockdown – is now available at Totally Awesome’s various Yorkshire outlets, while also selling on Amazon, ebay and Etsy. New ideas and characters are always in development for the game, which is incorporated into training at Contender Gym and will both be sponsored and sold at the 2022 UK Martial Arts Show in Doncaster.
âI know other gyms are successful but I can only speak for mine and after all we’ve been through seeing our fighters apply what we constantly train and work on and get the rewards for it is a great feeling, âGarry Bell said.
âAnd seeing my son win a world title is a feeling that I wish all dads could have with their own sons. It’s very special and filled me with pride, positivity and motivation to move on. before.
âI still work hard everyday to stay on top of everything with the gym, but the last year has taught me how to stay resilient, face adversity, and keep working on the next chapter.â
Contender Gym thanks all the sponsors involved in the success of Kai Bell’s gold medal at the World Championships: Close Protection Security, Fight Lab, Mentell, Time Trader, Candy Corner and Teesside Electrical.