Kickboxing classes were established in 2008 as part of the Health Hub. Classes are led by our own Paul O’Brien, a former Irish kickboxing champion.
These classes have made a huge difference in those who come from all over Limerick to improve their health, fitness and overall quality of life.
Kevin McNamara has been a member of the kickboxing club since 2014. He kindly agreed to take part in an interview to show the incredible transformation he has undergone since taking up the sport.
Interviewer: When did you first start taking classes at the Hub?
Kevin: I first joined in October 2014.
I: How did you hear about the classes?
K: I heard about them through my son, who was taking part in activities in the Learning Hub at the time.
I: Why did you decide to start kickboxing classes?
K: I knew that I had to lose weight, and I also wanted to improve my overall fitness so I decided to give the classes a go!
I: What physical changes have you noticed?
K: I have lost two and a half stone since starting classes. I weighed seventeen and a half stone and now I weigh fifteen stone. I did this through attending classes twice weekly. Paul also recommended the types of food I should be eating. I now aim to eat healthily five days a week, and treat myself a little at the weekends.
I: Have you noticed changes other than physical?
K: I have noticed many mental changes. I’m now energetic and have so much more confidence. It’s a great boost when you see someone you haven’t talked to in ages and they tell you how great you look and how much weight you’ve lost!
I: Were you at all reluctant to first start attending classes?
K: I wasn’t reluctant, but when I first started I had no idea I would still be here nearly two years later! At first it was very difficult and I didn’t know if I would be able for it. However, after the first couple of weeks I had already lost a couple of pounds which motivated me to keep going.
I: Is Paul, your coach, a good mentor?
K: Paul is brilliant. He works everyone at their own pace and makes everyone feel welcome. When I first lost two and a half stone Paul brought me into the gym and handed me weights that were equal to what I had lost. It was mind – blowing to hold what I had been carrying around as excess weight.
I: Do you enjoy the sessions?
K: Yes! It is a friendly and homely place and everyone is really motivating. After exercising I always feel great – there is a real feel good factor.
I: Has your life changed for the better?
K: It certainly has. There has actually been a positive knock on effect for the whole family. I go for walks with my wife and children. We all eat healthier now too. We don’t have a deep fat fryer anymore. Now if we do eat chips they are always oven cooked.
I: What are your future fitness plans?
K: I am continuing to take part in kickboxing classes two times a week and eating healthily. Ideally, I would love to lose another half a stone.
I: Finally – would you recommend kickboxing to those who want to improve their health and fitness?
K: Yes. 100%. It is tough at first but gets easier once you ease into it. I will never look back!
We would like to thank Kevin for taking the time out to talk to us today. Kevin, you are truly inspiring and should be a very proud man! You have truly motivated all of us.