Fighter Profile: An Interview with Evelyn Neyens
What got you started in kickboxing and when did you start?
Evelyn: When we were 6 years old my twin brother started doing kickboxing. I went to watch his training and I wanted to try it myself. I’ve not stopped ever since and soon started doing competitions too.
You’ve won a lot of trophies, if you had to pick 3 memorable victories which would they be?
  • My first time winning the Irish Open Grand Champion in 2015 (Against Bev Sturzaker in the final).
  • My first Senior Gold at the senior WAKO World championships in 2015 (Against Luisa Gullotti in the final).
  • My second time winning the Irish Open Grand Champion in 2017 (Against Luisa Gullotti in the final).
You narrowly lost in last year’s World Championship final to the retired Luisa Gullotti, can you sum up your feelings and emotions after that fight?
Evelyn: I never expected to even get into the final after barely training and not competing for over a year. I didn’t put much pressure on myself, but once I got into the final with Luisa I knew I wanted to win no matter what. I knew in advance it was going to be a fight that could go either way. We always give eachother a good fight. When I saw those last seconds dissapear on the clock I felt such a huge dissapointment in myself, but I love Luisa and I couldn’t help but feel happy for her. 
Is there any news on the Flanders Cup this year so far? The tournament was scheduled for September but has there been a decision to cancel?
Evelyn: The way things are now the Flanders cup will take place as planned. Obviously, we can’t foresee what the future might bring, but the sport council told us the Flanders Cup would happen. So see you all there!
Photo credit: Em's Photos UK
Tell us about your career outside of kickboxing. What do you do? Why do you do it?
Evelyn: I’m a police officer. I’ve only graduated from Police Academy in October, that’s why I didn’t compete/train for such a long time. I love this job because no day is the same. Some days are emotionally hard, some days are physically hard, some days are really fun and some days are truly boring. Not many people really like the police which is not always nice either, but I feel like for me it’s all about helping people and making a difference in their life.
How have you been keeping fit during the COVID crisis?
Evelyn: I’ve been working 7/7 and I work in shifts, so it’s not been that easy to keep fit. I try and run a few times a week or try and squeeze in a quick work out every day. Ideally, I want to do more, but during this COVID crisis, I think as a police officer I have to have other priorities.
Who are your idols in sporting terms and why?
Evelyn: Roger Federer, Michael Phelps, Muhammad Ali...I’m attracted to greatness. All of these people made huge sacrifices to be at the top. Everybody could put in hard work if they wanted to, but not everybody will. It’s what separates average from elite.
How does it feel having a boyfriend who fights for a different nation?
Evelyn: I love that we can train together and motivate each other. However, we don’t talk much about kickboxing at all to be honest. When we train for a big competition it’s a bonus that we can push each other and learn from each other. 
Photo Credit: Em's Photos UK
Thank you so much for your time Evelyn.
Evelyn neyens