A student who lost the use of his arm has now won a kickboxing title and set up a club in Swansea

A SWANSEA student who lost the use of his right arm is back punching above his weight thanks to a combat sport.

UWTSD masters post graduate Leif Thobroe used kickboxing as a path to recovery after the rugby accident in 2015.

Amazingly, just eight months later he claimed a British title against able bodied fighters. He has now qualified as an assistant coach and set up a new kickboxing society at the university.


"I have been kickboxing for nearly five years and after my accident in 2015, kickboxing was my own form of rehabilitation. It got me back onto my feet faster than I could have imagined," said Leif, who is from Swansea.

"Eight months after losing the use of my right arm, I competed in the WOMAA British Championships in November 2015 and won a British title in an advanced category, fighting against able bodied fighters.

"Then I went on to win a silver medal in the European championships. After starting my MBA course in September 2015 at UWTSD, I decided I wanted to set up a kickboxing society, allowing students of all abilities to come and have a go."

World champion title-winning kickboxers take the classes at the Townhill Campus and helped out by club captain Leif.

He added: "I also train with Swansea University students, who also have their own kickboxing society. They have kindly asked us to join them for social events and in the future hopefully we can compete against each other, if UWTSD have enough students wanting to compete."

Back in March, Leif met Prince William at an event organised by the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust, an organisation which has supported him through his MBA since his accident.

Leif, who is also who is also the university's new Enterprise and Creative Bubble Intern, was described by UWTSD lecturer Jayne Williams as "fun-loving, approachable and popular".

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