Stirling’s Muay Thai club is heading to the ring and making a name for themselves in the sport. This Saturday, November 11, 4 students from the university are heading to Alloa to fight.
Natalia Vorri, Fraser McQueen, George Brock and Adam Thomson will be participating in a variety of fights. Natalia is the first female to fight from the club, so it is big, exciting news for the club. I asked Natalia how she feels about heading into the ring:
“It varies between me feeling that I am going to smash it, get a KO and then actually getting knocked out. I train about five times a week, with some running on the sixth day. I feel ready, I’m excited!”
Fraser McQueen, as well as Adam Thomson have their first debut fight too on the night.
Another student who is fighting on the night is George Brock, who is in for a rematch. All his fights have been a victory, but this fight is a rematch, as the last one was a draw. Brock has a title already, but is vying for the ‘next generation’ belt. Fraser mentions he is very “modest” about his achievements, keeping his feet on the ground.
Another student, Adam Thomson, is also in his debut fight. Majority of the fights occurring on Saturday night are C class fights – meaning that there are no knees or elbows to the head allowed, and no padding is used.
Few people might not know what Muay Thai actually is, so I asked our athletes how they would describe the sport. Fraser says that “Muay Thai is quite often called the art of eight limbs or Science of 8 limbs, due to the eight points of contact used in the sport.”
“The biggest difference between Muay Thai and sports like kickboxing is that we have moves like clinching, and grabbing onto your opponent”.
The club in general focuses on inter-club matches and competitions, as opposed to the BUC’s (British Universities’ Championship).
If you are enticed by the sport and want to join, here is some advice given by the athletes to those who are thinking of joining the club:
Fraser says, “The club is open, and welcoming to anyone.”
Natalia mentioned that “girls are often reluctant to join” but shouldn’t worry because “all the guys are respectful and sometimes we have more girls than boys at inter-clubs (competitions). What I love is that the university is very welcoming to female athletes”.
Asking how they and the rest of the club are feeling in the run-up to the match, they replied by saying “we’ve been training hard for a month” and that it is important to remain relaxed. Natalia was especially happy as she mentioned, “luckily I didn’t have to cut weight!” Cutting weight is the “worst”.
I had to ask how their parents felt with them being in the contact sport.
Fraser mentions “mum was never keen to see me fight” but “she knows it means a lot to me, so she supports me “
Natalia’s situation was similar: “my mum was surprised and not too happy, but I’m passionate about it” and her dad “accepts it but he doesn’t want me to get hurt”.
I don’t think any parent wants to see their child get hurt in a sport they love.
It is well-known that injuries and long-term detrimental health conditions are linked. Our athletes said on this matter:
It can happen in any sport, like football or rugby, any sport really, which has contact. People notice it more in sports like boxing and Muay Thai. We can’t let it stop our passion, it would be a shame. There are long term benefits of doing the sport as well”.
Natalia summed it up: “What’s life without taking risks?”
Exactly – life is too short. We need to take all the opportunities and chances we get, and live our passions.
I would like to thank Natalia and Fraser once again for taking time out of their hectic schedules, and to wish good luck to our students heading down on Saturday – we are rooting for you! You will make us proud.
Whatever the outcome is on Saturday night, it will only make the Muay Thai club better and stronger. Onwards and upwards from here!