Local Muay Thai gym Pretty Top Team is hosting a charity fight this Saturday night, with bar sales proceeds to go to Kick On Charity in honour of a UK teen who died by suicide earlier this year. Issy Phipps was 17 years old, a talented rugby player, and described by loved ones as a breath of fresh air.
Issy’s cousin, Laura Kukic, lives in Cairns and is touched by the generosity and willingness of local businesses to support mental health in young people.
“The way people rally together is so special,” Laura said.
Pretty Top Team owner Frankie Hosking said they were holding a Built 2 Fight night this Saturday 17 June as a culmination of their 16-week program called the Build a Fighter Challenge, which takes people from being absolute beginners to having their first amateur Muay Thai fights.
“Being a martial arts gym, we’re big advocates for mental health,” Mrs Hosking said.
Mrs Hosking is close with Ms Kukic and saw an opportunity to raise awareness for mental health concerns in teenagers and young people. Mrs Hosking said it was only natural to use their upcoming fight night as an opportunity to raise funds from bar sales for mental health in the Cairns community.
Kick On Co-Founder and Chairperson Drew Bauer said he is honoured that Kick On has been chosen to benefit from the fundraiser.
“I know a lot of people get into Muay Thai training for their mental health. So I definitely see the synergy. And a lot of what we promote is to do with movement for positive mental health,” Drew said.
Laura and Issy’s other cousin Sophie McGown owns an earring brand called Earsass and created a pair of earrings called The Issy Star in honour of her young cousin. £5 from each pair sold is donated to Brave Mind, a UK mental health charity working with rugby clubs, universities, and schools.
Kate Middleton visited Issy’s rugby club in the UK and was gifted a pair of The Issy Star earrings by Issy’s mother.
Ms McGown was honoured to hear that Cairns businesses were coming together in Issy’s memory.
“I’m utterly blown away by the support, love, and generosity that has been shown to us globally and to the incredible charity we are supporting Brave Mind. My earrings are all named after amazing women in my life and Issy was one of the very special ones, so it was totally appropriate to name one The Issy Star, and to now think they are possibly sitting on Princess Kate’s dressing table is something I would never have imagined for my business. Our mission is to get mental health talked about and treated just the same as our physical health, make suicide conversation the norm, and bring awareness to how much of a support we can all be when we come together. Thank you, Kate, thank you for your compassion, love and support to Issy’s mum Sarah that day.”
Limited tickets are still available for the fight at Pretty Top Team Muay Thai.