Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How Firefighter Gets His Kicks

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How Firefighter Gets His Kicks

Article excerpt

Firefighter Saleem Malik will be tackling more than fires in the coming months.

The current British Middleweight karate champ based at Middlesbrough fire station is setting his sights on a new challenge - the world firefighters' karate championships to be held in England this year.

Saleem, 39, from Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, will also have his work cut out to be ready to defend the British Masters' section win he achieved in Sheffield last year.

"If I'm injury free I would like to do the world firefighters' competition. If I can get others to get involved with me as a team that would be even better - otherwise I'd like to go on my own," he said.

Saleem, whose own trainer is former world karate champion Abdu Shaher, the northern England coach, took up karate in 1981.

"I like to think that although being older and slightly heavier I have gained from the experience of doing it for 23 years," he said.

Saleem is one of only a handful of Asian firefighters and outside the ring he is a tireless champion of encouraging members of minority ethnic communities to consider the fire service as a career. …

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