Jamie’s letting his feet do the talking in the ring these days

editorial image

Been there, seen it, done it, could be the motto of world kickboxing champion Jamie McGinnis, or Ginnie as he is know to his legions of fans in Motherwell.

However, the super fit athlete who turned 33 last week has a new challenge on his hands after setting up the Elite KickBoxing and Fitness Gym in Carfin.

It has been a long road getting the place up and running for Jamie but it is all coming together now – he has a waiting list for all his classes.

Born and brought up in New Stevenston, Jamie was recovering from a very nasty knee injury in 2013 when he was offered the opportunity of running his own kickboxing gym.

The two times British super featherweight, said: “I have owned the gym for three years but it has only been going for a short time.

“I wanted to give youngsters the opportunity to direct their energy into something positive.

“I started boxing when I was young because that is all that the gyms in this area had to offer.

“There are still a lot of boxing clubs here and I’m not knocking them – they are great. But it’s good to give people the chance to try something else.”

Jamie, who is also a two times European super featherweight champion, was a professional footballer for Airdrie United in 2003-04 but his temper was always an issue on the pitch.

“I have always had a drive and I needed a way of channelling my aggression,” he said.

“Football was great,but I needed something else.

“After my time with Airdrie, I played for Shettleston Juniors, then I became a head doorman at Megabar in Motherwell.”

Jamie was known at that time as someone who spoke with his fists.

He is not proud of that reputation but it is all in the past now – he just needed the right focus to stay out of trouble.

“I definitely spoke with my fists when I was younger. That is why my football career didn’t work out,” he admitted.

However, since setting up the kickboxing gym Jamie’s focus has been trained very much on that.

And one of the driving forces behind the new gym is the benefits it will bring to the local community.

He said: “We have different groups here. It is great to see how it can help in building confidence among some of the youngsters.

“A couple of children who started here were quite shy initially and didn’t even make eye contact.

“But now they have come out of their shells and are so much more confident.

“It also give kids discipline which they can carry on with them, giving them a great start and setting them up for a much better future.”

And Jamie’s gym is run by someone who is still fighting at the highest level – so he can speak from experience.

“The youngsters see me training and get a feel of what is involved,” he said.

“I am still training professionally and have my second professional fight in a couple of weeks against an English guy called Adam Scott in Linwood.”

It could, however, have been so very different had Jamie not had the support of close friends following a horrific injury he suffered in the ring six months before he opened the gym.

His own injury also coincided with a major kidney operation his five-year-old son Charlie had.

“It was June 2013 and my wee boy was going in to have an operation,” he recalled.

“At the time I thought about not fighting but decided to carry on as it was a world title fight.

“I won but I snapped my leg. All my cruciate ligaments were damaged and the doctors didn’t think I would be able to fight again.”

Charlie has completely recovered and is following in his dad’s footsteps, training at the gym.

Jamie said: “I couldn’t have done what I have done without all the help and support I have received from my friends.

“My trainers Charlie Parvin and Gerard Murrey helped me get back on the right path when I considered giving up fighting.

“They believed in me when my doctor said I was not going to be able to do twists or turns again.

“Kickboxing is my life – I wouldn’t know what to do without it.”

Jamie was also supported by his long-standing friend John Kennedy, a former Celtic player who suffered a similar injury which ended his footballing career.

Jamie added: “John is from Carfin and I’ve known him since we were boys. He has been a huge support.”