Swindon 105.5 have gained another high profile patron in the form of Boyzone’s Shane Lynch during a visit to Swindon on Monday 22 February.
The Boyzone member was in town to promote his latest business venture with friend and martial artist Matt Fiddes, who is offering Ladies Only Kickboxing classes as part of his Matt Fiddes Martial Arts brand.
Shirley Ludford of Swindon 105.5 said: “I met with Shane this week on almost the anniversary of Boyzone coming to Swindon 105.5 to surprise me as part of the ITV programme ‘Surprise Surprise’, which I was featured in.
“I had been part of secret filming for the programme, then was taken to London with my son, who had nominated me for the programme. Boyzone came too! During the show I was asked to introduce them – and they sang for me. It was an amazing and slightly surreal experience. When Shane came to Swindon, I was invited to meet him again and readily agreed.
“We spoke at length and I recorded an interview about his interest in promoting women learning to be and feel safe. I am also starting a series of programmes with local agencies who work with and support women who have been in abusive relationships and encouraging women to tell their stories to inspire others, which Shane was interested in.
“After our conversation, I asked whether he would consider becoming a Patron of Swindon 105.5, representing music and community interest. I was absolutely delighted that he readily said yes – and that he would like to visit out new studios when next in Swindon.”
Shane joins other patrons Whoopi Goldberg, who Shirley met as a result of the ITV programme (representing The Arts), Lord Joel Joffe (representing community) and Simon May (composer of TV music including Eastenders theme tune) representing music.
Children at Rodbourne Cheney Primary School children also enjoyed a visit from Shane earlier on Monday 22 February as part of his promotional tour for MF martial arts.
Shane has teamed up with Swindon born Matt Fiddes, previously bodyguard for Michael Jackson and seventh grade Tae Kwon Do martial artist, to promote the new ladies only classes of kickboxing available in Swindon now.
The pair first met whilst Boyzone were on tour in Ireland during the late 90s, with Matt escorting Michael Jackson to one of the boy band’s concerts. Having found time in his schedule to work alongside Matt, Shane decided to expand on his passion for fitness by aiding the new venture to get more women into martial arts and fitness.
Shane said: “I think it’s very important these days for our women to be able to protect themselves on the streets. I have a wife and two daughters, and the thought of something happening to them is horrible, so classes like this can really help if the worst should happen.
“Having been to some of the classes, I’ve gotta tell you, the spirit is amazing. Everyone is so excited and focused at the same time, all have a great energy and buzz about them, which is great to see. I have a passion for all kinds of fitness, but I’m not martial arts expert.
“Helping Matt with this tour of towns and cities around the UK is an outlet for my passions. I love that people are enthusiastic about what I do and I want to use that interest to further things that I am interested in and passionate about, such as fitness and wellbeing. I want to be here, I want to encourage people and if that means signing autographs and having pictures taken that’s fine. I’ve seen the world change from when you used to have to be paid to turn up somewhere and smile for the cameras, now I can do that just because I want to be there.”
Shane told the assembled school children from Rodbourne Cheney Primary how he used to be involved in martial arts until the age of 14 when he says ‘life got real quickly’ for him. Starting work at 13 as a tyre fitter at a petrol station, Lynch also told the children about his struggles with dyslexia and how he had to overcome learning difficulties himself, eventually finding music to be his passion.
Shane added: “It’s great to be able to come to these schools and talk to the children as well as their parents, and the values that martial arts teaches them are so important these days.
“I would say to anyone wanting to get involved in any of Matt’s courses that at first it’s not what you think. It’s not a room full of people beating each other up, it’s what you make of it. It’s about discipline, resilience and self motivation. It’s great, I’d recommend everyone tries it.”
Matt Fiddes said: “I like the opportunity that coming to these schools brings us. It allows us to talk to the younger generations and instil the values of martial arts in them. I’ve been practicing martial arts since I was seven years old, mainly as a response to being bullied as a child. I found something I was good at and it helped me in every walk of life.
“Having Shane on board to help promote our launch of Women’s Only Kickboxing today gives us the opportunity to appeal to the Boyzone fanbase, who predominantly are female and tell them about the opportunities to learn how to keep fit and defend yourself at the same time. It’s great that Shane has such a passion for fitness and the positive effects that both martial arts and kickboxing can bring.”
More information on the kickboxing classes can be found at www.mattfiddes.com
Swindon Link also asked Shane about reported rumours of a joint Boyzone/Westlife performance or tour, a rumour that has recently been stoked on the internet and in the media.He said: “I know it’s something that’s being talked about from both sides, but it’s not going to happen tomorrow. We would love to do it, but you’re looking at 2020 before we even know what it’s going to be. Could be a tour, could be a one off huge charity gig, who knows! In the music business four years is nothing, so we will know soon enough.”