Two of Barrhead’s leading martial arts clubs are on a mission to make their sports more accessible after joining forces to launch a new gym in the heart of the town.

The Barrhead Community Muay Thai Boxing Club (BCMTBC) and Three Kings MMA, both of whom previously trained in the Foundry, have come together to create Elevate Community Martial Arts Centre on Main Street.

Barrhead News: Aaron McCannAaron McCann (Image: Newsquest)

Elevate, which offers classes in MMA (mixed martial arts), Jujitsu and Muay Thai, operates as a not for-profit organisation, run by volunteers who have full-time jobs elsewhere.

Barrhead News: Cammy HarveyCammy Harvey (Image: Cammy Harvey)

With every penny raised going back to the club, the aim is to keep the cost of the classes low, so that as many as possible can reap the benefits of martial arts, including discipline, confidence and improved fitness.

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Barrhead News: Iain FryarIain Fryar (Image: Newsquest)

Vinnie McWilliams BCMTBC coach said: "We made the decision to move from the Foundry reluctantly.

"Barrhead has had a Muay Thai Boxing Club within the Foundry for around 25 years and it's where I first starting training Muay Thai full-time.

“The club has started to produce some great local fighters now so moving to a new unit where we could offer more more specific equipment was a must moving forward.

“We absolutely loved our time within the Foundry as the staff where great but to grow the club we had to open a new purpose-built facility that would allow us to extend class times and add new classes also.”

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Scott Drummond from Three Kings MMA added: "I started my martial arts training with Vinnie when he used to run the town's old BadBoyGym, so he was my first choice of partner to open this new facility.

“I had to drag him kicking and screaming from the Foundry but deep down I think he knows it for the best.

“The aim of Elevate is to have a positive impact through martial arts and we are trying to keep it as a community project and hope to get as much sponsorship and funding as possible in order to keep the cost of the classes low."

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The club recently benefitted from another donation from local businessman Richie Tyrell, who runs Guardian Scaffolding and has donated £2,000 to the club thus far.

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Barrhead News: The Elevate Community Martial Arts Centre provides classes in MMA, Jujitsu and Muay Thai, and are

“To be honest, we wouldn't have been able to open the new facility without Richie's help and because of him we have been able to purchase essential equipment like a boxing ring and most of the pads we use for training,” explained Vinnie.

“Myself and Scott are truly grateful to Richie. There really isn't enough people like him in the world and we can't thank him enough.”

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In terms of adults there are about 40 members who now attend the gym through the week, as well as about 15 kids.

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“We’ve got guys in their forties, we’ve got teenagers, we've got kids coming along and the classes are suited to everyone,” explained Scott.

“It’s not you need to do this – it’s this is what we are doing and if you feel comfortable doing it great, if you don’t feel comfortable then don't give it a go."

Barrhead News: Scott DrummondScott Drummond (Image: Newsquest)

Although the new space has only been open since February, it is already having a huge impact on those coming along.

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John Baxter’s son Kyle, 12, and daughter Millie, 10, who both have autism, are “absolutely loving” coming along to MMA classes after the Pollok dad decided to get them involved in a bid to get them away from technology.

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He told the Barrhead News: “Their coordination and their balance is a lot better.

“It’s just crazy and they have only been going for about six weeks.

“I’ve seen an improvement in their strength as well.”

Barrhead News: Scott Drummond with wife Megan, his daughters, nephews and brother PatrickScott Drummond with wife Megan, his daughters, nephews and brother Patrick (Image: Newsquest)


Barrhead teenager, Liam McLaughlan, meanwhile, trains in both MMA and muay Thai and is one of the club’s most dedicated students.

Attending the gym every day, the sports have been the making of him, helping him go from a quiet boy to a confident young man.

The 14-year-old said: “Last June I didn’t have any hobbies or anything and I was just bored all the time.

“I did boxing for a while before and then I saw the Thai, so I thought I’ll just go down (to the Foundry) one day and I loved it.

“It’s changed quite a lot for me in general and its also made me realise it’s what I want to do properly when I’m older, full-time.

“The new gym has made it so much better. There's more space and more people can come in.

“The way Scott does the visual demonstrations is really good.”

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Cammy Harvey, who is 17 and one of Elevate’s fight team for Thai boxing and trains in MMA, added: “They just motivate you and give you good advice and teach you the all the techniques.

“They have just been there for me like for instance if I'm nervous for a fight they'll talk me through it and tell me how it's going to go.”

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To raise funds, the club is hosting a sparathon on Sunday (April 14) with members of other gyms invited to come along, pay £5 and enjoy the opportunity to spar with people they have not sparred with before.

Barrhead News: Mathew LynchMathew Lynch (Image: Newsquest)

As the club is not using the space full-time, they are looking to get as many other community groups in as possible to use it when it is not being used by Elevate.

Those who would like to get in touch about this should contact Scott at

The club is also appealing to any other local businesses who would like to sponsor the club and give them their backing.

To find out more about Elevate click HERE