Fighting Fit Kickboxing founder Russ O’Keefe said he was grateful to six major sponsors who had come forward to help his club following publicity in the Ripley and Heanor News and Belper News in August.
O’Keefe, who up to that point was funding the club out of his own pocket, said the support was fantastic.
He also thanked his wife, Rachael, for her backing after he decided to relaunch the club and devote his spare time to the venture.
“I always try my best to make sure the whole class has everything it needs to succeed and Rachael supports me so much,” he said.
“Without her back up a lot wouldn’t be possible. She puts up with all the hours I do teaching and all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes when I am planning future training sessions to keep the classes explosive, the constant promoting of the club and the fighters, designing new clothing, and ordering martial art equipment etc.
“It is exhausting, but at the same time I love it and we are living this exciting dream together.
“Since the article in the summer we have had a lot of interest, firstly from my local pub, the Hunter Arms in Kilburn.
“Landlord and landlady Mark and Paula Showers have generously supported Fighting Fit Kickboxing by buying new equipment and T-shirts for all the class.
“They are lovely people. I have always been made to feel welcome there and for them to support the club like this is fantastic.”
Further support has come from local business AVS - Amber Signs and waste franchise Skip Bag (UK).
O’Keefe described their contributions as huge and said it had covered the design costs and implementation of Fighting Fit Endurance, including T-shirts for all students and further equipment.
AVS has also offered to make ringside banners to advertise the two clubs and all the sponsors.
Skip Bag (UK) has also sponsored the WRSA Pro Arm Super Cruiserweight English National title fight between Josh Shaw and Andy Keys.
O’Keefe added: “It’s great to have a sponsor like this who wants to work so closely with me. They see my vision of where I want to be and they are behind me 100 per cent.”
The manufacturer of all the club’s martial arts clothing, Printscene, of Alfreton, has sponsored both clubs with support on all their printed garments.
Two individuals have also come forward to help the clubs’ clothing and equipment.
One of the men, a business owner, told O’Keefe he didn’t want publicity and just wanted the clubs to succeed.
O’Keefe said: “This is my opportunity to say a big thank-you to him as he knows every penny I make goes back into the club.
“The other sponsor is an uncle of two of my students. He comes to watch his nephew training on a regular basis, so when he offered his support I was shocked and humbled by his kind gesture.”