Little Gladiators have Courage in Abundance

Johannesburg (South Africa) – Gladiator Fight Academy hosted a Reach For a Dream Captain Courage event on 17 September where a number of boys with life-threatening illnesses got to exercise and have fun with top local MMA (mixed martial arts) athletes.

The gym in New Germany, Durban, started the fun at 11.30am when the boys met MMA athletes including EFC AFRICA welterweight champion Dallas Jakobi and rising middleweight Armand de Bruyn. The action kicked off and the boys got to learn various self-defence techniques, and even watch a mock mixed martial arts bout. Goodie bags and participation medals were then handed out.

“This was a great way to spread the word of our awesome sport and how it can help anyone develop discipline, courage, fitness and determination, all qualities that these kids use on a daily basis,” said GFA Head Coach Johan Duckworth. “We want to host many more of these events in future and do as much as we can for these courageous kids.”

Middleweight EFC AFRICA fighter Armand de Bruyn was proud to be part of initiative and said he can’t wait to do it again. “Seeing the kids come out of their shells, smile and have fun was such a good feeling and they were all so enthusiastic! Overall the experience was a very humbling one.”

According to Reach For A Dream Project and Outings Coordinator Tammy Dennekamp, the event was a huge success and the boys just loved it. “We’d like to give a huge thank you to the fighters, EFC, as well as to Johan at Gladiator Fight Academy. This kind of Captain Courage, where the boys can feel that they really can do anything, including fight their illness, can only be a success! I’m sure when all of them got home they were showing off their new moves and boasting about their awesome fun-filled afternoon!”

What is Reach For A Dream?
Reach For A Dream fulfils the dreams of children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have been diagnosed as having a life-threatening illness by a medical practitioner. There is no discrimination based on race, culture, financial status or any other factor. Each child living with a life-threatening illness is given a chance to dream.

Reach For A Dream believes that no child should live without hope. Childhood can be the most magical phase of the human existence, filled with dreams, aspirations and most of all… fun!

For children who have been diagnosed as having a life-threatening illness, the magic of childhood may be lost in the emotional, physical and financial strain of dealing with their illness. Reach For A Dream tries to alleviate some of this strain (which often affects the whole family), by creating a different environment for the child – one that is not focused on her/ his illness. We would like our children to find their laughter again and therein find the strength to live beyond their illnesses.

For more information please contact:
Reach For A Dream Foundation Project and Outings Coordinator Tammy Dennekamp


Gladiator Fight Academy Head Coach Johan Duckworth