by Ahileas Bolovan in Southampton, United Kingdom

We did it
On 14th November 2022 we successfully raised £14,202 with 108 supporters in 28 days

We are raising funds for a 12x12 Olympic Wrestling mat and equipment needed for our dedicated grassroots program and Wrestling tournament.

by Ahileas Bolovan in Southampton, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

If the initial target is met and we have the funds to secure one Olympic Wrestling mated area. We would use the extra funds to purchase a warm up area and multiple pieces of equipment necessary for the tournament.  

Who are we? 

Neon Martial Arts and Fitness Centre Southampton


We are Neon Martial Arts and Fitness Centre, a community-based hub that was established in early 2020 by coach Ahileas and coach Trevor in one of the most deprived areas of Southampton. 

Because of their passion for martial arts and the lack of dedicated wrestling programs in the South of England, Ahileas and Trevor decided to create Neon, were they hope to build the next generation of champions on and off the mats.

Community impact

Our academy teaches freestyle wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA to children age 4+ in our local community as an aim of keeping them out of trouble and off the streets through martial arts. We are the first and only BWA registered academy in the region.


Why are we crowdfunding?

In 2022 we started a freestyle wrestling grassroots tournament in the south of England so the local children would have the opportunity to compete and test their skills against other competitors from around the county. The event was a success and the feedback we got from children, parents and officials was a positive one.

Due to the lack of infrastructure and wrestling competition specific equipment in the area, we had to build everything from scratch. 

With the help of our students, parents, volunteers, and the coaches’ personal finances we: 

1. Trained 8 x Olympic wrestling referees 

2. Purchased first aid specific equipment/kit 

3. Red and blue wrist and ankle bands for competitors 

4. Whistles for the referees 

5. PA and display screens (rented/ borrowed) 

6. Podium 

7. Medals and certificates 

Despite all this, we have only been able to accommodate for 62 children to take part in our event due to the lack of competition mated areas.

In order to deliver our planned programmes and to increase the capacity for the 2023 tournament, we aim to purchase a full size 12m x 12m competition mat plus some other items necessary for a safe and professional competition environment.





Why now?

We opened Neon in January 2020. As you all know, just a couple of months later, the government declared a state of emergency and for the next 2 years we were in and out of lockdowns and went through a lot of restrictions due to the pandemic. 

During the two years, we have tried to keep Neon afloat.
When the government allowed, we build an outdoor gym, so people can spar during warm, non rainy days. We divided the classes to have less people training in bubbles. This meant we had to increase the frequency of classes- so more time in the gym for us.

We realised that we have put more money, time and effort during these two years, despite seeing a massive drop in memberships, especially in children classes. 

We knew failing is not an option. We tried to be positive and we took joy and motivation from a handful of students that kept paying their membership, despite not being able to train, making the financial and mental strain easier to bear. 

Soon after, the restrictions eased and we started to see more students coming through the doors. We wanted to keep children motivated and we realised that a local wrestling tournament would make a huge difference for our children. By making it as affordable as possible and running it yearly, children from Southampton and the surrounding areas have the opportunity to be exposed to the sport of Wrestling.

By organising and running a wrestling tournament regularly we would generate enough extra revenue from sponsorships and entry fees that could be used to support and grow the sport of Wrestling here in the South of England.

How we’ll spend the money raised from the Crowdfunding campaign

All the money we raise from this campaign will go towards the cost of the following items listed below. 

1. Full size Olympic Wrestling mat 12m x 12m x 6mm - cost of area £8238.00 + £550.00 delivery to Southampton + VAT

2. 43"Smart TV plus Stand on wheels x 2 to be used as score boards - £520 VAT included

3. Podium back drop - £1263 VAT included


What difference our work will make?

The tournament/s that we are regularly planning to organise will keep children and young adult engaged all throughout the year as they are training and preparing with an end goal in mind. To take part in our event and compete in front of their family and friends. 

This way they will be spending more time in the academy training and getting better, sharpening their skills and increasing their fitness levels, developing ambition, potential, self-belief and becoming health-conscious individuals. 

This will be an alternative to being on the streets, learning antisocial behaviours, youth offending and adopting unhealthy lifestyles. 

How you can play your part

If your donation exceeds £34, please check the rewards section and choose the preferred item. 

1. £35 1 x rash guard 

2. £35 1 x grappling shorts 

3. £20 1 x branded knee sleeve (knee pad) 

4. £65 1 x grappling/martial arts backpack 

5. £15 2 x T. Birmingham academy patches

6. £65 1 x Training GI

7. £200 bundle – all the above and save £35 

8. £30 1 x Laddies hair cut, wash and blow dry

9. £500 or more - Mat side company advertising banner during our 2023 tournament. 15th of July 2023 Southampton 

Testimonials-Parents of some our our students told us:

1. “I was visiting family down in Portsmouth and shot the guys at Neon an email to see if I could join them for a session or two.

I was made to feel welcome! The techniques we went over were brilliant and will be added to my game, the training was awesome and I'm really happy I made it to the gym!

Thanks for letting me train with you guys! ????”

2. “Amazing gym and facilities.
The coaches at neon are masters at their chosen sport , very knowledgeable and professional, they always go that extra mile to make you feel welcome and a valued member of the club.
This is a great gym for all the family as they have classes dedicated to adults and children throughout the week.”

3.  “Very friendly staff who are focussed on children having a good time as well as learning. Trevor B. is also helping our son with his silver Duke of Edinburgh sporting activity by providing a framework and assessment. The flexible membership arrangement is very helpful when it's not possible for attendance every week. Great group of people.” 

4. “Every coach is super qualified and knowledgeable all with different things to bring. Great for kids and adults. Perfect if you are looking for a cool hobby, if you wanna get fit or go the full way and compete in a world class sport. Highly recommend neon gym “

Thank you for your generous support and please make sure to come and check our next event on the 15th of July 2023 inside Testlands Hub, Green Lane, SOUTHAMPTON SO16 9FQ



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£5 or more

21 of 25 claimed


50% OFF. 1 X Wrestling class with access to the gym and sauna for the day. Normal price 10£/ session. ( Children under the age of 16 not allowed on their own in the gym/ sauna without adult supervision)

£10 or more

19 of 50 claimed


Children Christmas party 10/12/2022 15:00 - 17:30 Food, drinks, games, bouncy castles etc included in the price. Regular price £12/ child. Testlands Hub. Green Lane SO16 8BG For more info please contact us directly.

£10 or more

The Hub Snack Bar Voucher worth 15£

Treat yourself or the loved ones to a “Signature burger” or a sweet treat at The Hub Snack Bar Southampton. Vegetarian options are also available.

£15 or more


2 X T. BIRMINGHAM academy patches

£15 or more

The Hub Snack Bar Voucher worth £20

Treat yourself or the loved ones to a “Signature burger” or a sweet treat at The Hub Snack Bar Southampton. Vegetarian options are also available. For more info please call 02382026705

£20 or more


NEON branded knee sleeve. Available in any size

£30 or more


The Hair Box Salon - “Creating your best look” Ladies hair wash, cut and blow-dry normally worth £38.

£35 or more


Limited edition NEON branded rash guards. Available in any size.

£35 or more


Limited edition NEON branded grappling shorts. Available in any size

£65 or more

NEON customised training BACK PACK

Training/ traveling customised back pack with the design of your choice. Please see our catalogue at the academy for options or emails/ text us and we will send you the electronic version.

£65 or more


Branded T. BIRMINGHAM academy GI - BLACK

£200 or more


Neon bundle 1 x Grappling Shorts 1 x Rash Guard 1 x Knee sleeve 1 x Backpack 2 x T. Birmingham academy patches 1 x Academy Gi. Buy everything as a bundle and save £35

£100 or more

1 of 1 claimed


2X 3 HOURS TERMAL AT MONART SPA VOUCHERS wort 132£. Monart Day Spa, Poundbury was opened in November 2019. Set in Royal Pavilion, Queen Mother Square, Poundbury near Dorchester. This luxury spa is the first UK venture for Monart Destination Spa, Ireland, one of the top destination spas in the world.

£500 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Company advertising banner

Mat side company advertising banner during our 2023 grassroots tournament. 15th of July 2023 Southampton UK

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