Student-athlete, Rory Harrison, a Year 12 student at Cheadle Hulme Sixth Form was crowned Kickboxing World Champion, at the World Cup in Venice last week. A competition which had 2400 entries, from 285 clubs, representing 43 nations. 

Rory fought in the Junior Men under 19 competitions, in all three mat disciplines, which included, Points Fighting, Continuous Fighting and Kick Light. Fighting through stacked divisions, Rory won World Cup golds in all three disciplines. This is an extraordinary achievement, but he went on to compete in the Junior Males Open Weight Grand Championship and win the World Cup, along with a cash purse too!  

He is the first athlete to achieve the quadruple across all disciplines, which will secure his place in Team GB as he looks forward to representing his country at the World Youth Games in Budapest later in the year. Throughout the World Cup, Rory displayed amazing versatility, stamina, technical knowledge and resilience to fight 14 or 15 times a day.


Student-Athlete Rory Harrison at the Venice Kickboxing World Cup. 

The world’s leading referee Derek Sweetman Jr of Ireland, who officiated the Grand Championship commented:  

“What makes the Junior Grands Open Weight win remarkable is that he was literally jumping from continuous to points Grand Open Weight 4 or 5 fights, back-to-back, possibly more to be fair, with very little rest period in between due to the schedule. Amazing! This kid is a machine!” 

Rory fights for Energize Apex and is coached by Carl Thomas of Energize Martial Arts in Stockport. As a student-athlete on the ELITE Pathway, Rory receives tailored support to help him balance his commitment to his A Level studies, alongside his training and busy Kickboxing schedule.  

On Rory’s achievements, Director of Sporting Excellence, Ed Haslam said:  

“We are extremely proud of Rory on what he has achieved. His character and determination to excel in the way that he has throughout the World Cup is admirable. He is a student who truly embodies what it means to be on the ELITE Pathway and is unapologetically aspirational, in his pursuit of excellence.”  

The Laurus Trust ELITE Pathway provides the guidance for aspirational athletes to achieve their academic potential and sporting dreams. Student-athletes develop a holistic understanding of the contributing factors of elite sport, which include balancing the demands of sporting excellence and academic success.