Boxing is at the heart of our work with young people and provides several significant benefits that enable us to transform young lives.
Boxing’s grittiness makes it an attractive sport for young people from deprived communities to take part in. Our gym in inner-city Bristol has a long and proud history of producing world, European, Commonwealth and British boxing champions, enhancing our credibility in the eyes of young people.
Boxing is crucial for gaining a young person’s confidence and breaking down barriers to honest communication. As people focus on the physical activity, such as hitting a punch bag, they relax, drop their guard and open up. We have learned that this is important for young men who face pressure in their community to ‘man up’ and be emotionally strong and silent.
Every day we see how boxing can transform young lives. Our vision is for young people in deprived communities across the UK to be able to benefit from the power of boxing.
Gaps between physical activities present the optimal time to run personal development activities, such as mentoring, therapy and careers support. Sport clears the mind and creates a positive learning state while gaps between physical activities present natural opportunities for discussions.
Physical health benefits
Our sessions are fun but they are also physically demanding. They increase young people’s levels of physical activity and address health issues such as obesity, building confidence in own abilities. The young people we work with face barriers to improving their health–the cost of physical activities can be prohibitive, while gyms and other sports environments can be intimidating. In contrast, our sessions are free and we have made our gym as welcoming as possible for people of all backgrounds.
Mental health benefits
Boxing enables young people to make physiological changes to improve their mental health.
Exercise changes brain chemistry by releasing serotonin and endorphins, which reduces anxiety and depression and creates happier moods. Exercise also reduces stress and tension as bodies are better able to control cortisol levels. Our sessions have proven to be effective at managing anger and aggression issues by providing a physical release in a safe, controlled environment.
Finally, as fitness levels and boxing skills increase, young people’s self-esteem takes a huge boost, making them more resilient to whatever life throws at them. Importantly, we provide young people with exercises they can use themselves so they can self-manage their psychological condition.
Our boxing teaches young people important skills they can use outside of the ring. Young people learn the importance of perseverance, discipline, respect and pride.
Every day we see how boxing can transform young lives. We are building an evidence base so we can show the effectiveness of the sport to others. Our vision is for young people in deprived communities across the UK to enjoy the power of boxing.