TMA seniors hopeful it can still prove a big year

By Stephen Leonard

2020 was poised to be a big year for senior international kickboxing with the European Championships in Turkey providing a route into the World Combat Games.

And Tallaght Martial Arts will be hoping that four of their members can still avail of that opportunity given that the Euros are likely to be pushed back from their original date in October to December because of the global Coronavirus outbreak.

Tallaght MA Gar Ryan Dave Heffernan and Conor Mc Glinchey compressor

Tallaght MA’s Gar Ryan, Dave Heffernan and Conor McGlinchey

Conor McGlinchey turned a few heads in his first season in the senior ranks when he won bronze at the World Championships last year with Kerri Browne and Nicole Bannon also taking the final spot on the podium in their respective divisions.

They will be hoping to build on that if they can hopefully make it to the continental stage at the close of the year, where a top four finish would see them progress to the Combat Games.

Joining them in that pursuit is clubmate Gar Ryan, the defending European champion at 74kg, who is itching to make a return to top international competition having been forced out of last year’s World Championships when he fractured three ribs in the weeks leading up to the tournament.

Also on the programme for the club was the World Junior Championships in Serbia which are likely to be rescheduled from August to November.

Like every sports club, TMA have been working hard to cope with the huge challenges presented by the pandemic.

“We’re just trying to keep all our members active” said TMA Coach Martin Bannon.

“We have our parents and athletes Facebook pages and we’ve just come to the end of a 30-day challenge. Everyone’s engaged with it and it just helps to try and keep things positive and keep our members focused” he said.

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