WAKO GB would like to congratulate Elijah Everil on his latest achievement of becoming the Irish Open Grand Champion. Elijah epitomises the positive values that our sport has to offer our children and we are very fortunate that he is part of the WAKO GB family. Congratulations and well deserved.

“Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate”.

Elijah said: I worked my whole life for this, I sacrifice every single day in ways that most people will never know or understand. In order to get to the destination, the road is for the most part lonely, painful and cruel. My journey here consisted of many setbacks, defeats, disappointments and painful lessons. It consisted of rejection, broken bones, injuries and concussions.

My parents set a goal when I was born, and that goal was to be the best parents that they could be for me, to support me in every way possible and push me to achieve my dreams. When I found this sport, I found my passion and something I truly loved. So my parents knew that this is where my path would lead, from that day, they have travelled all of the miles across the country and across the world with me. They took all the bruises, broken bones and bloody noses with me. They sat inside of freezing cold gym’s throughout the winter whilst I train my ass off, with me. They suffered the pain and disappointment of losing, multiple times, with me. The reason I couldn’t help but break down and cry when I won is not just because of all the sacrifices I have made myself throughout the years for that moment, but mostly because of all the sacrifices that others have made FOR ME in order to accomplish my dream. This isn’t something you can just do on your own, it doesn’t work like that. I’m just extremely blessed and so fortunate that I have such a great family and team behind me.

It means so much more when you can honour a sacrifice that others have made for you, when you can make people proud and repay them for all of their time, hard work and effort. Thank you.

I would also like to thank everyone who has ever played some kind of role in my career to this point, no matter how big or small it may be, whether that be a coach, a training partner, a friend, a mentor, a team mate, an opponent/rival or a champion who came before me that paved the way for and inspired young fighters like myself.

Because throughout my years of knowing you, you would have taught me something that helped me merge this dream into reality.

This is by far my biggest achievement yet but by no means will it be my biggest achievement ever. I’m just getting warm.

Kobe, this one’s for you.

Mamba out.