TWO businessmen have given their backing to South Tyneside kickboxers as they strive to make a name in the sport.
Gary Tuck and Paul Davis have stepped forward to give fighters Laura Burnett and Lewis Nelson sponsorship deals.
The pair are both students at Kuei-Ling kickboxing, which is based at South Shields Fight Factory, in Frederick Street.
Laura, is now sponsored by Garry Tuck workshop, while Lewis is being sponsored by Paul Davis Aerials after the deals were secured by their coach Garry Nelson.
Gary, who has a garage based in Maxwell Street, South Shields, said: “I’d heard about Laura and how much of a promising fighter she is that I thought it would be nice to help her,
“Kickboxing is such a male-dominated sport, so it’s nice to see a female fighter doing so well.”
Paul, who offers aerial and satellite installations, said: “I have supported quite a lot of the fighters over the years and obviously Lewis is getting older and he is stepping up onto a professional level, which I know costs a lot of money for equipment and training.
“It would just be a shame for someone like Lewis, who has spent years training in the sport, to be stopped from going on to the next level because of money. It’s nice as a local business to be able to give something back and hopefully it will help him.”
The kickboxing club, run by coach Steve East, already boasts a number of medal-winning students who also hold a number of title belts.
Mr East said: “It is great we have local business people who are willing to step forward and sponsor our young fighters.
“We have some fantastic students at the club who do not only have massive potential but are also fully dedicated and committed to the sport.
“We have had so much medal and title success in recent months, our students really are a credit to our club.”
Kuei-Ling Kickboxing Club holds sessions for adults and children throughout the week.