This year marks 25 years since local sportsman Billy Murray won his first world title in kickboxing. During those years, he has been passionate about using his sport as a way to promote peace and respect.
Billy set up and coaches at his ProKick Gym in Belfast. We have visited him at ProKick on a number of occasions when working with the Prince’s Trust Team Programme, and watching him work with the Team, was inspiring and fun! It was during these visits where we first heard about ‘The peace Fighters’
Billy Murray and Sir Carl Emery’s ‘The peace Fighters’ programme was officially launched with the support of British and Irish ministers in 2005.
The scheme is aimed at promoting peace and respect through sport, bringing together leading groups involved in martial arts and combat sports across Europe, and also organising inter-community meetings and international events including competitions, training, courses, trips, and demonstrations.
The Peace Fighters particularly focus its activities to benefit disadvantaged children “If we are to seriously tackle the issue of collapsing youth behaviour, we have to do it now,” said Murray. “This programme is a well-realised and proper leap forward. I look forward to seeing what we can do with it across the continent.
The initiative has hosted many events and outings, including taking children from different backgrounds on the trip of a lifetime to Switzerland, and forging cross-community friendships through fun events. The latest venture for both the Peace Fighters and the ProKick Kids will be participating in the Lord Mayors City of Enjoyment enterprise later this month.
ProKick Gym itself will be hosting a major event in the Ulster Hall on 13th September. The night will be a celebration to mark 25 years since Billy Murray won his first world title in kickboxing and will feature seven world title fights – the standard is one so this will be a ground-breaking event.
Tickets can be bought by contacting the Ulster Hall on 028 9033 4455 or via the ProKick Hotline on 028 9065 1074
Alternatively you can visit www.prokick.com
To learn more about the Peace Fighters visit the website www.thepeacefighters.com