Sheffield youngsters set to rise to martial art superstardom

Tyler Hourihan and Lennon Thompson could be ones to watch in case they end up representing the nation one day.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 2:20 pm
Tyler Hourihan.

The two aspiring sport juniors are rising to the top of different disciplines.

Tyler, from Woodhouse, is known in the Thai boxing ring as, 'The Golden Boy', a tribute to the 14 world titles and K1 championship he has under his belt.

The 11-year-old who started learning the sport at just three-years-old, now juggles coaching a junior team alongside his own competitions.

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Lennon Thompson.

"It feels good to see people in the crowd when you're in the ring and afterwards you feel that you've done everyone proud,” he said.

"It feels pretty cool to see kids I've trained fighting especially when they're smiling.”

Twelve year-old Lennon, of Arbourthourne, is making a waves of his own, having secured a spot in Team Great Britain's Taekwondo Cadet Squad, which means he could have the chance to compete on behalf of the nation.

The sportsman who has had nearly 40 fights since he started playing professionally over two years ago.

"I just felt so happy when I landed a place in the team GB cadet squad, like the happiest I have ever been in my life.", he said.

"It is tiring having to travel but you need to work hard to get into team GB and getting in makes it all worth it. "

Lennon's place on the squad means he could be one of the four competitiors in his height and weight category, picked to sport the Great Britain kit at a tournament this year.

He will be travelling to Holland this March to see how he measures up against contestants in the Taekwondo Dutch Open.

"In the future I really hope I get to compete in the Olympics, so everyone can see me on TV - I go to competitions in Manchester and people ask me for my autograph and it just feels amazing.

He added: "It is hard training and there are pressures but I have made new friends through taekwondo.

"I've met loads of different people from different backgrounds which has made me more confident in myself."

Tyler, who has been coaching his peers to perfect their Thai boxing craft, shares a similar philosophy about the importance of sportsmanship and remaining calm inside the ring.

"It's all about respect, that's the main thing - if you step into the ring, not showing respect to other fighters then they won't have any for you.", he added.

He initially got into the martial art, by spending time at his father's boxing gym in Sheffield.

Peter Hourihan, 35, owns Team Outkast. He said: "He started growing up around the gym and meeting fighters and by the time he was seven he was training the number one in the country.

"Everyone wants to take pictures of him but it's what he gives back that is important - with coaching the team he's training and helping kids that haven't had the best start in life and he's helping them."