When a former world champion kickboxer decided to set up his own gym and martial arts school, little did he know he'd soon be the inspiration for scores of aspiring youngsters.

Around three years and four months ago Bin Tyler set up H̄odr̂āy Muay Thai Lowestoft.

Now, dozens of children and adults are competing each weekend, a number of aspiring youngsters have won national titles and Mr Tyler's talented twin daughters have just been selected to represent England at a prestigious tournament in Canada this August.

And this is made even more remarkable considering that the gym in Unit 5 on Battery Green Road in Lowestoft was closed for 18 months amid the continuing coronavirus lockdown.

A "proud" Mr Tyler hailed the flourishing success of a gym featuring Thai boxing and boxing that started with a handful of family and friends and now boasts England recognition.

Mr Tyler - who celebrates his 43rd birthday today (May 13) - said: "I was working offshore and decided to set up the gym, to coach and see what could be achieved.

"Initially we had a room at the former Ruckus MMA and Fitness Gym on London Road North, but now with our own gym it has just got bigger and better - we are competing every weekend up and down the country."

Initially established with a group of around six members, the club now caters for more than 50 children throughout the week - with training sessions for beginners to elite fighters, and adult fighters.

Mr Tyler said: "This weekend we are in competing in Kent on Saturday and Luton on Sunday, in Darlington next weekend, then in London the following week.

"We are running sessions for children aged six upwards, from beginner and intermediate classes up to adults - a lot come in for fitness and its great to see.

"We have a ring in the gym, mats, bags and I am happy - I'm really enjoying it.

"I've been a world champion, won world and national titles and while that was a nice feeling as I got to where I wanted to be, now I strive to pass this on to the kids and adults.

"I never thought it would be like this - its great to see the kids keep active, progressing and working towards something."

Having won more than 20 national titles in kickboxing and Muay Thai boxing, as head coach at H̄odr̂āy Muay Thai Lowestoft, an early birthday present was confirmed this week for Mr Tyler.

A "super proud parent moment" was confirmed after his "beautiful, smart and super talented twins Mimi and Mila" were selected to represent England at the first ever WBC Youth Championships in Canada from August 9 to August 14.

He said: "They will be going up against the top, top kids in the world from 30 different countries - and to get where they are now in such a short space of time is incredible.

"They had been scouted, then went to trials for the south east region as trials were also going on in three other areas as well."

The two talented twins, aged 12, both attend Hobart High School in Loddon.

Mila will compete for England in the U38kg category, with Mimi competing in the U40kg category.

"They train every day," Mr Tyler said.

"The girls used to attend Waveney Gym Club, but when I started the gym up full time they have been coming here ever since

"They will be fighting for the world championships in Italy in October after progressing through qualifiers - I am extremely proud.

"But I have always been proud of all of my kids and what they have achieved.

"And that goes for all the kids at the gym - they have done me proud.

"From not knowing how to punch or how to kick to see the likes of Jude King, Paddy McAleese, Joel Frosdick, Riley, Billy - so many boys and girls all doing so well.

"I would like to get as many of them as possible trialling for England - and the more I get on the team, that would make me feel even more prouder."

A "really successful" Hodray Muay Thai interclub was held at the gym earlier this month, and on June 11 Mr Tyler is "really looking forward" to a hometown show - JaiYai #3 - at the Water Lane sports centre.

Tickets are now on sale for the show featuring more than 40 bouts for juniors and adults as youngsters Joel Frosdick, Jude King and Billy Brassfield all fight for national and area titles.

Limited VIP tables are also available for JaiYai #3, with tickets on sale via 01493 277971.

For further details about H̄odr̂āy Muay Thai Lowestoft contact 07739 987 604.