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Saturday 1 August 2015

Alumni: from books to the boxing ring

We spoke to Southampton Solent University alumnus Ricardo Co, who has gone far since he graduated in 2013 with a degree in BA (Hons) Event Management.

Ricardo really made the most of his time at University, captaining Team Solent Kickboxing for two seasons and representing the University as a member of our High Performance Academy. Ricardo’s kickboxing career has flourished since he graduated and he now lives and trains in London, where he competes professionally.

What did you most enjoy about your time at university?

I enjoyed the international environment that Southampton Solent University offered for those 4 years of studying, as well as representing Solent as a kickboxer all over the United Kingdom.

Do you think your course was structured well? If so, why?

Yes, it was. During my studies I had to host many events with my university colleagues and I gained experience during my work placement. I highly recommend the event management course at Southampton Solent University.

Ricardo graduating Solent University.

You captained Team Solent Kickboxing during your time at university. Tell us about how your experience as a kickboxer:

I was the Team Solent Kickboxing club captain from 2010 to 2012. It was a great experience to organise the trips and knowing all the students involved in the sport at university. I did learn a lot as a kickboxer and I realise how much needs to be done to be a real athlete. I have been practising sports since a young age and for me, it was easier to wake up earlier to exercise. After my morning exercise, I would go to my 9am class

Ricardo the Rocket Go.

I had to make sure I had everything planned the day before, which made it more easy to follow a schedule. In addition, I had to organise the trips and book a 10 seat mini-van to take all the kickboxing competitors to the competitions. As I study Event Management, which is all about organising, planning and time management, it was an easy transition for me. In that topic, I had no problem.

You were supported by our High Performance Academy (HPA) during your time at university. How do you think the academy helped you to progress your sporting career?

Well, the High Performance Academy (HPA) was a fundamental support for my physical and mental preparation before my fights. In addition, the financial support for the kickboxing gear was much needed for the trips I had to do for the GB Squad training to allow me to represent Great Britain internationally. During this time, I had a huge leap in my amateur kickboxing career.

We hear you are now kickboxing professionally. Can you tell us how this came about?

Yes, I am fighting professionally. At the end of my 3rd year, I wanted to do more and step up to a higher level of fighting. I like to challenge myself and I train hard to be a winner. I love to be a champion. After graduation, I moved to London, I decided that it was the right time to start to fight professionally. Luckily, I met my Coach, Daniel Sam a world class fighter through my cousin, David Sa. Since then I have been training with him. My fighting style has changed to suit a more professional level, because I do fight Muay Thai and K1 rules.

Ricardo Co.

You have a rigorous training schedule. Can you tell us the average day for a professional kickboxer?

Normally, a professional fighter trains twice a day. Morning is strength and conditioning and in the afternoon Muay Thai / K1 Rules. I train Monday to Saturday and Sunday is my rest day.

Ricardo doing promotional shots.

What are your career hopes for the future?

Currently, I am at 5th place at K1 Rules in UK at -55kg. I am training hard to be at the number 1 spot in UK. In muay thai, I am training hard to fight at the high level.

Banner image courtesy of: Raul Castillo