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Shine member joins Wales Kickboxing Squad

    • Garin Davies
    • Garin Davies
    • Garin Davies

When Garin Davies was diagnosed with spina bifida at the age of 14 it shattered his world. So much so that he gave up the thing he loved most – kickboxing.

Little did he know that within two years he would be selected by not one, but two national kickboxing squads!

15 ­year ­old Garin, from Caerphilly, has spina bifida occulta. This form of spina bifida is quite common (5%­-10% of the population may have it) and for many people it has no effects at all.

For some, however, it can lead to other complications including pain and reduced mobility. In Garin’s case, the diagnosis shattered his confidence. He struggled at his kickboxing club and eventually gave up training altogether.

Mum, Charlotte, said, “A few months ago he decided he wasn't going to give up, and yes he has got a condition but he also has to live his life. He wants to do that to the best of his ability and to the fullest. So he joined a different club, they work with him in conjunction with his disability instead of trying to fight against it. His confidence improved, his sporting attitude improved, his technique improved, and he started to win competitions.”

Garin was invited to join the Welsh squad in training, where his hard work and effort was recognised with an offer of a spot on the team. Garin is competing on 28th February in the WOMAA­WKS European Open Championships 2016, and hopes to take part in the World Organisation of Martial Arts Athletes World Games in Germany this July.

Garin also qualified for the English squad on 21st February but has chosen to stick with his national squad.

Garin is an active member of the charity Shine, which provides specialist services, information and advice for people living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

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