Gym fighting costs brings kickboxing back to town centre
A kickboxing gym is stepping up its fight to stay open with a return home to the heart of Maidstone.
TKO Academy has been running in the town for 20 years, introducing people of all ages to the sport and providing somewhere for competitors to train.
Originally based at the Powerhub in St Peter’s Street, it moved to Cuxton Road on the Park Wood Industrial Estate in 2011 due to the building’s owners seeking to develop the plot, with plans put in for a supermarket, shops, cafes and restaurants.
But now, in the face of rising rent costs, the academy is returning to St Peter’s Street, and taking over another unit nearby – the former fireplace shop in Baltic Wharf.
Former English super welterweight kickboxing champion, Dave Winch, will be going into Wayne Rodrigues and Dave Winch partnership with current owner Wayne Rodrigues.
Mr Winch said: “Due to the location, we lost a lot of members but we do not want the gym to stop trading as we feel it’s an invaluable service to the community.
“Over the years the gym has produced many champions both in our junior and adult program.
“In order to ensure the club stays alive, we have decided to lease a unit nearer the centre of Maidstone back at the Powerhub, almost as if the TKO gym is coming home.”
TKO, which currently has 80 members, provides kickboxing classes for juniors from the age of five to cadet and adult level at sites in Maidstone and Ashford.
The relocated gym is set to open on Saturday, April 1, with classes resuming on Monday, April 3.
Mr Winch, a 38-year-old children’s respiratory nurse, added: “We feel these are exciting times for TKO Maidstone and look forward to getting into the new gym and running more classes, developing champions and making it an enjoyable experience and social club.”
Classes run Monday to Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.
Kickboxing gym TKO Academy is returning home to the heart of Maidstone