Champion of the Month – ‘Ryan’

15th November 2019

‘Ryan’ pictured with mentor Lucy, and his champion of the month prize football and certificate

At the request of his foster parent, Ryan has had his image obscured and name changed to protect his identity.

Ryan is our Champion of the Month for November! Ryan was referred to us as a result of his challenging behaviour, related to ADHD and anxiety from trauma at a young age. He has consistently attended, and overcome some serious hurdles to push himself which has resulted in positive change.

Initially, Ryan was difficult to contain and engage with sessions, and wouldn’t engage with boxing exercises at all. However Lucy quickly built up a rapport with Ryan, encouraging him to do whatever physical activity he felt comfortable doing; whether that be skipping, playing basketball, or football which he is particularly fond of.

Looking through the notes that the coaches collect from each session, it took several weeks before Ryan was prepared to engage in anything related to boxing, and that eventual interest did not hold to the following sessions. We are mindful that sometimes boxing will not always be the hook – as it may not initially interest every child or could feel daunting – but Lucy showed that the key is letting the young person guide the sessions and build that trust, enabling them to partake in any physical activity, easing in the boxing-related exercises at a later date.

Four months passed, and Ryan exhibited ups and downs in his mood and behaviour, at school and at home, due to challenges relating to past traumas and people. However, for the very next session, he was bright and settled in his mood, and engaged with as many people and as much activity as was possible that day.

It was mentioned to Ryan that he could progress from his 1-2-1 sessions, and try to engage with small group boxing sessions. Ryan had always struggled with highly stimulating situations and lots of people due to his ADHD, which was easily contained in 1-2-1 sessions. However, it was fed back that he was willing to be integrated into the group, with his foster parent commenting on being surprised at how well he had fit in with the other young people in the group.

Overall Ryan feels safe here, is settled and his confidence has increased. Both Lucy and Shiren (coach of the group class) have commented that he seems completely different to how he initially presented in that first session.

Well done to everyone involved with Ryan’s progress and long may it continue!