National Masonry packs a punch with sponsorship deal

Following a few years of adversity, Andy Bell of National Masonry, in Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, says he is more optimistic than ever about the future with a fresh mind set and plans for expansion into new areas that might surprise people throughout the industry. The first of those surprises is National Masonry’s sponsorship of biology graduate Duncan McLean in his aim to become a performance marshal arts boxer.

Andy’s attention was drawn to 25-year-old Muay Thai boxer Duncan, born and bred in Durham, at Unity Gym, where they both train. “You only have to watch the lad to see that he has skill and determination and I have no doubt he can be the best in his field,” says Andy.

Under the tutelage of gym owner and experienced martial artist Nick Hands, Duncan’s six-day-a-week regime includes gruelling multiple daily sessions and a strict nutritional plan. “He is a young lad in his prime,” Andy tells us. “He has the discipline to stick to a lifestyle that has made him what he is. To top it all he has gone off to University and now has qualifications that on their own would have been enough to get him on his feet in life. But he wants to be a winner, and that deserves my respect and support.”

As well as gaining a degree in biology, Duncan has just finished his Masters in international business management. But his passion is for martial arts. He was inspired by his father, a University lecturer and experienced Shotokan Karateka, who introduced Duncan to his first dojo when he was just 8-years-old. Since then, Duncan has studied many different styles and earlier this year started training at Unity, where he rediscovered Muay Thai.

Duncan won his third fight in the sport at the end of September, elevating him in the national rankings, in front of a crowd of more than 200 at Hardwick Hall, in Sedgefield, Durham. Andy was at ringside to support him. “Duncan is a role model for success. He has put a tremendous amount of effort into his training without neglecting his education, and that is a rare and commendable thing. I believe he will achieve his dream, and I am delighted that National Masonry can be a part of that.”