Riddell to take his place in WAKO GameChangers initiative

By Hayden Moore

LJYAS Elite will be represented on the world stage in developing a sustainable future for kickboxing with the announcement that Jake Riddell has been selected to represent Ireland in the  new WAKO GameChangers leadership programme.

A total of 15 ambassadors from as many countries and three continents have been chosen to be part of the new initiative.

Jake Riddell 1

Jake Riddell

The 25-year-old Tallaght man was selected as an ambassador for Ireland in this new undertaking through the sport and leadership initiative which is built on educating and developing future leaders.

“[WAKO GameChangers] will basically be an opportunity to build a sustainable future by developing future leaders in the sport and one of the main focuses this year will be around equality and fairness,” said Riddell, a primary school teacher in St Kevin’s Boys National School.

“I have been chosen as an ambassador for the whole of kickboxing in Ireland.

“I’m chuffed about being involved and delighted with the opportunities to travel around the world, international training and international fights that it will bring.

“It’s really good for the club for me to be able to represent them internationally like this.

“My mam trained me when I was growing up, and myself and my mam run the club in Kilnamanagh now.

“It’s one of the smaller clubs, it is really a small family club.

“My mam raised us to put your best foot forward and I’m delighted for the club to get this level of recognition.”

Jake’s tenure as an ambassador will run until the end of 2022 and he is set to meet up with other ambassadors from around the world five times per year in a mix of remote and physical meetings.

In a week where LJays Elite are preparing for a return to outdoor training, chief instructor Lorraine Riddell is eager to see what impact the WAKO GameChangers initiative will have.

“It’s great to get that younger perspective for some of the older people involved with WAKO because they’re the future.

“It’s great to meet up to discuss how they can improve” she said.

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