< Back to News

Stancold Sponsor Team GB Athletes at WAKO World Kickboxing Championships 2021

Stancold’s role in the local community has been part of our core values for over 75 years. From voluntary work at the local Food Bank to supporting independent businesses where we can, we strive to do our best within the Bristol community and its surrounding areas.


Last month we sponsored two Bristol athletes who were selected to represent Team GB at the WAKO world kickboxing championships in Jesolo, Italy. 


Matt Roberts and Molly Hershaw, both fighting out of the EPiC Gym, were selected from squad trainings and both for the second time in their lives. The tournament had an extra buzz about it since WAKO have just achieved fully IOC recognition and are on the cusp of becoming a full Olympic sport. 


The sponsorship covered their travel expenses, competitive sections and accommodation. This allowed them to focus hard on their training and give them the best chance in the arena. 


Matt said the following about our sponsorship; “Working with Gilcrest and Stancold has been an amazing feat. They have helped us to focus on the job at hand and give us the best opportunity after a long 20 months out from competition! I know both Molly and I thoroughly appreciate the backing and we couldn’t have got to Italy if we didn’t have the amazing support.” 


Molly added; “It makes it possible! Kickboxing has gained IOC recognition this year but it is still a sport which is unfunded in the UK. As well as the costs of travelling and competing, there were additional expenses relating to equipment and COVID testing this year. Sponsorship has taken away the stress of financing this and we’ve not had to make sacrifices in other areas, such as making sure we’re eating well and able to access facilities for recovery.”


The athletes went out and competed to the best of their ability, Matt lost in a close fight in the round of 16 to an American, who went on to win the division. Molly came from behind in her single division quarter final to edge out a Russian before eventually narrowly losing out to the Italian, who also went on to win that division. 


Molly then was selected to represent the first ever all-female team in the new IOC-style format. Team GB went through tough fights with Norway, Italy and Ireland to claim gold in the inaugural event! This is the 2nd world title that Molly has won!


When asked about the future in kickboxing after the event, Molly replied; “I would like to win multiple British, European and World titles, as well as just expanding the number of places that I’ve travelled to compete in. I don’t currently coach much as I have to be selfish with my time but eventually I can see myself investing more time into the younger generations in the sport.”


Matt responded with; “I am chasing titles all over the world. I am an athlete before anything but also have a coaching responsibility, so I have to find the balance. It does consume a lot of time but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Next year is a huge year with tournaments hopefully returning in their entirety. I can’t wait to get back out there and hopefully continue a close relationship with yourselves and your essential support. I have no less than 10 international tournaments next year so it’s going to be manic!”


It’s been great following the progress of both Matt and Molly over the last couple of months and we look forward to supporting them in 2022.


Matt & MollyMolly Hershaw