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(Oct. 17, 2002, Gazette)

Kicking back in Greece

Photo by Chris Hammond
Scott Butler kicking up his heels.


Memorial University student Scott Butler recently won the bronze medal in world heavyweight kickboxing. In May of 2002, Mr. Butler, along with his 35 teammates, represented Canada at the World Professional Kickboxing Association’s championships, held in Rhodes, Greece.

“To be amongst 1,500 of the world’s finest athletes was incredible,” said Mr. Butler.

Growing up in the small Newfoundland community of South River, this first year physical education student was encouraged by his father to take karate lessons at Mike Foley’s Kenpo Karate school in Carbonear.

“Karate was not something I was really interested in,” he explained. “But then one day, I just started loving it. And kickboxing was a natural progression from there.”

Three years ago, Mr. Butler began kickboxing with Mike Foley in Carbonear and Mount Pearl, following a rigorous schedule of strength and cardio training. In 2001, Maz Nawez, head coach of the Canadian karate/kickboxing team, recruited Mr. Butler for the North American kickboxing championships, where he won the junior division gold title and was advanced to the worlds.

“I had trained hard and was surrounded by great people, so I was prepared to win,” said Mr. Butler.
Since his international success in Greece, Mr. Butler has had time between studies to reflect on his incredible experiences, and the people who really made it possible for him.

“I learned so much about sports management, fundraising, and support from my time before and after the world championships. Student housing, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Federation, my coaches, my parents, and my friends, Sheldon Heritt and Sean Hunt, who helped me train, all made my win in Greece possible.”

Mr. Butler will be competing this November in Mike Foley’s Battle on the Rock tournament, and hopes to return to the worlds in a year or two. “I’m going to keep working hard,” he added. “And next time I’ll be looking for the gold.”