Champion of the Month – Rhys

18th December 2019

Rhys is our first champion of the month from Wales!

Rhys is from Pontypridd and goes to Hawthorn High School in the area. He and his class were referred for their behaviour back in September, as they struggled with focus and motivation.

From the early sessions, Coach Aaron felt he needed a lot of motivation to get him going, but once he was into the tasks he engaged well. As a group, there was a lot of talking over each other and not listening, so Aaron introduced press-up punishments as a way of instilling discipline.

It was noted that sometimes Rhys – who has Asperger Sydrome – struggled to engage with the group, and wasn’t confident in himself, but over the weeks this improved in relation to Aaron’s challenges. Setting simple mini-goals such as completing an improving number of rope skips, naturally improves a young person’s confidence once they achieve that goal. Working through frustrations in training is something that all successful people have had to master, and once the young people are aware that this relates to their favourite athletes, they understand the benefit.

Within just a few weeks, Aaron reported that Rhys was loving his boxing and was the model student. Rhys even bought his own boxing gloves and skipping rope to use outside of these sessions. Rhys has 100% attendance, his confidence has improved massively, and his social skills have improved as well.

In their final session before Christmas, Rhys and his Hawthorn High classmates visited the gym in Bristol for their session. They were treated to a surprise visit from former World Champion boxer Lee Haskins, who talked to them about the importance of working hard, and invited the young people to ask him questions.

When we were about to present the Champion of the Month award, (a cap provided by Bristol based signage and printing company Engravatec) Aaron mentioned to the class what was happening and everyone started to point to Rhys, which was a nice moment and acknowledgement from everyone of his hard work.

Acknowledging the champion!

Well done Rhys, and keep it up!