Champion Thai Boxer Inspires Students

A British Thai Boxing champion has been putting students at Trafford College through their paces.


Tricia McKeary, a British and commonwealth champion, joined Level One sport students in the College’s Sports Barn for an inspirational talk and a morning session of sparring.

The visit was organised by Sport and Public Service Lecturer, Michelle Blake, who thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to introduce students to an inspirational local figure, who has not only excelled through her passion and love for her sport, but who has also turned her passion into a career. The inspirational boxer led students through some of her punishing routines and Muay Thai boxing moves, before answering their questions.

Tricia is three times British and commonwealth Thai and kickboxing champion, ranked between 1, 2 and 3 in the world at her weight for several years and has trained in Muay Thai boxing and Thai boxing for 24 years. Since taking a step back from competing, Tricia inspires other fighters at her very own gym in Altrincham, Pele’s Gym. With 36 professional fights under her belt against opponents from around the world including Holland, Italy, Portugal, America and Canada, her members are in safe hands.

Tricia was joined at the College by one of her strongest fighters, Laura Nott. Together they are working closely with the community to develop both male and female skills and techniques in Muay Thai, and encouraging participation in the sport, especially since it has been given the go ahead at the Olympics. Students taking part in the programme each week will get the chance to learn the skills and techniques used in Thai boxing, which will enable them to produce excellent work for their unit as well as developing their confidence, discipline and respect.

Tutor Michelle commented, “I am so excited to be training with Tricia at Pele’s gym in Altrincham. Sport and Muay Thai are my passions and I am dedicated to making a positive impact for my learners by giving them as many opportunities as possible. I was a student from Trafford College myself, so I am  100% committed to enhancing all learners in their development in the sports field. Tricia is an amazing coach and inspires so many people. I want to give others the opportunity to develop their fitness levels and maybe train in what is a fantastic sport.”

Laura, who is preparing to take part in her first interclub competition this week after two years in training commented, “Tricia is an incredible coach and is great at reading people and what they need from this kind of training. She’s really engaged the students today with her charisma and they’ve loved it. I have a stressful job as an intensive care nurse and this sport is just a great way of unwinding.”

Students Akeem Aikens (18) and Cheryl Wilson (19) both from Altrincham, took part in the morning sessions and are now keen to take up the sport at Tricia’s gym. Akeem commented,

“I’ve really enjoyed today. This sport really helps get any frustrations you have out of your system as well as teaching you self-defence techniques. Tricia has been really great too.”

Cheryl added, “I’m going to look into starting these sessions at Tricia’s gym as I’ve really enjoyed the feeling of getting rid of excess adrenaline and energy.”

Tricia commented, “I originally got into boxing because my nephew was being bullied so I went along with him to a Thai boxing class to help build his confidence, and I was pretty much addicted straight away! I was massively into sport at school and took part in a number of different activities, but my trainer saw something in me when I was boxing. I haven’t competed in a few years now as I’m dedicated to my coaching and training in my gym.

“I’ve been Team GB’s coach for several years and trained many champions. Muay Thai is an amazing sport, it’s great for discipline and respect, and gives kids a focus. I’m passionate about working with young people in the community and I’ve worked in many youth clubs. This is a brilliant age to start this discipline as it gives young people an interest and gets them off the streets.”

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Trafford College is a leading provider of education and training in Greater Manchester. With a £50m investment in world-class facilities, an innovative approach to learning and exceptional links with some of the borough’s most significant employers, students are given a platform from which they can achieve their full potential.