Ulster Amateur MMA Launches Novice Tournaments

Reported by Danny Corr of the Ulster Amateur MMA Association. See below for event photo gallery On 28th February, the Ulster Amateur MMA Association launched the first in its series of Junior and Novice tournaments and the result was outstanding. Over 80 competitors ranging from juniors to seniors descended on the Belfast Leisure Complex at Andersonstown in Belfast to compete in this historic event. UAMMAA has developed a competitive progression pathway that caters for youths, cadets and novice adults in line with local jurisduction. Youths competed safely and securely behind headguards, body armour and gloves in a round of stand-up action then dispersed of the padding to compete in a round of grappling. Cadets and Novices competed in a semi-contact style still wearing headguards and shinguards. “Our intention is to make this sport available to everyone irrespective of age or ability, it has so much to offer but we need to make sure the competition side is accessible to the grassroots competitor or else we have no sport to develop,” said UAMMAA’s Coach Development Officer Danny Corr. It was an historic day in many ways but importantly because local government representatives and representatives from GLL who now operate all of Belfast Council’s leisure facilities were supporting the event. Among them Belfast Director, Gareth Kirk, was in attendance to witness the event first hand and was blown away by the organisation and camaraderie on display. Local Councillor and keen supporter of the sport, Councillor Steven Corr,  warmly welcomed the event: “We are constantly looking at ways to change and evolve our youth provision and MMA is a quickly growing sport on the island and, in particular, in Belfast. I have watched these competitors develop and believe that UAMMAA can bring about real change and opportunity to our young peoples lives and life chances through this sport. If we can tap into this sport through the Ulster body and bring a regulated and complete sport into our area as I have witnessed today, then we have a game changer”. Rodney Moore, Coach of UFC rising star Norman Parke and Chairman of UAMMAA believed the format set down a blueprint for the future in Northern Ireland and the success of Saturday gave Ulster MMA a well deserved boost. Steven “Taz” McCombe, veteran professional, was in awe of the event and commented: “Today I witnessed something special at the Ulster MMA Amateurs,  young people testing their skills in the safest way I have ever seen. Every club in the country should be involved.” More events are planned before the summer so keep posted on the progression of the Ulster Amateur MMA Association. www.ulsteramateurmma.org

PHOTO GALLERY

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