UFC star Ian Garry honoured to be part of Gloves Not Gunz moment and vows to ‘give back’ to community and inspire kids

MARTIAL ARTS has had a positive impact on many a life – including that of UFC welterweight Ian Garry.

That’s why the Irishman jumped at the opportunity to team up with the Gloves Not Gunz initiative in south London.

Ian Garry knows full well the transformative power of martial artsGetty

GLOVES NOT GUNZAnd that’s why the surging UFC welterweight has teamed up with south London initiative Gloves Not Gunz[/caption]

[email protected] Not Gunz provides an array of classes for the youth of Croydon to help keep them on the straight and narrow[/caption]

[email protected] didn’t hesitate to get involved with the project – which he recently visited[/caption]

Founded in 2017, Gloves not Gunz is a movement aimed at encouraging youths to try their hands at martial arts instead of getting involved with the wrong crowd.

Garry didn’t hesitate to become an ambassador after meeting co-founder Ben Eckett while he was preparing for what would be his final Cage Warriors outing in June 2021.

The initiative has been a roaring success in the community of Croydon since its inception and seeing the impact it’s had in such a short space of time has impressed Garry.

He told SunSport: “I think any martial art brings disciple, it brings confidence and it makes a child feel great about themselves at their core.

“And I think giving a child an ounce of confidence and having them come to a gym and train and having them do something they enjoy is so important.

“And it doesn’t matter if it’s an avenue of a lifestyle or if it’s just a, ‘I want to train because I like training and I want to be a healthier human.’

“Any exercise a human and a child can do is going to benefit their life physically, mentally.”

The power of positive figures on young and susceptible children is one Garry knows all too, which is why he felt compelled to lend a helping hand.

He said: “Ultimately, people in these gyms, kids look up to them.

“They’re not your mams and dads and they’re not giving out to you. They’re trying to make you have fun.

“I know, personally, growing up one of my favourite people in the world was one of my boxing coaches.

“He was someone I trusted, nearly more than my parents because he cared about me. He wanted me to be a better fighter, but it was more than that.

“He helped me with so much and I could see the care that he had for me when we were training and that can change a kid’s life too.”

As someone who has seen kids take the wrong path, Garry believes it’s imperative initiatives like Gloves Not Gunz to provide an outlet for the most vulnerable.

He said: “Anybody can end up in a bad situation in life. Any human can make the wrong decision and end up in a bad spot, that’s me and you included.

“I know I’d be in a worse spot right now if I didn’t have martial arts.”

He added: “I think it’s so important for us, and kids, to have somewhere like this.

Garry’s journey through the UFC welterweight ranks will serve as an inspiration to the youths served by the ever-growing initiative.

And although he didn’t set out to be an inspiration, Garry – who visited the kids in the programme late last month – has embraced the unexpected role.

He said: “If I can give back to any community and bring joy to any person on this planet, I’d love to do that.

“So it was an honour to be down there and be a part of it.”

Ian Garry was made aware of the initiative while preparing for his final Cage Warriors outingGETTY

Garry hopes to inspire the youth involved with Gunz Not Gloves with his journey in the UFCGETTY

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