The Power & Reach of Boxing series

The Power & Reach of Boxing series

We begin this new series of ‘good news stories’ with a summary of activity being delivered by Gary Young (registered BSL Coach, Leith-Vic) in both Craigmillar and Dalkeith.

Following discussions with various grassroots supporting partners, it was identified that boxing could play a positive role in the lives of the youths engaged with the Community Renewal Team in Craigmillar, one of Scotland’s most deprived communities (as per the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation). The Community Renewal Team are tasked with transforming communities by empowering individuals and engaging individuals in community activity to improve their health, learning and employability.

Being local and therefore being aware of the hardships within the community, and having being involved in Boxing in various capacities for many years, Gary was happy to deliver sessions to these youths – A pilot programme was created, and activity commenced. From the onset, the youths engaged with the project, and identified this as a purposeful opportunity to be active in a safe and controlled environment. At the end of this pilot block, we endeavour to provide feedback directly from these youths, and assess in what way this activity has impacted their lives.

In addition, over in Dalkeith, Gary has also delivered boxing to ‘hard to reach learners’ from 3 x schools in Midlothian. This activity was established via ‘Friends of the Award Edinburgh & the Lothians, who work in partnership with local organisations to support the delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and JASS (junior award scheme for schools).  This activity offers vocational activity as an alternative to the school curriculum.

Already, we have received powerful feedback from one of the school’s Behaviour Support Assistants, who works closely with these pupils – He said:

“These pupils – who have social, emotional and behavioural issues – were personally selected following a discussion with the Head Teacher and Guidance Teachers to join our JASS programme.”

“So far, they have attended eight sessions with Gary. These have given these pupils a positive first experience of boxing – these kids would never have had either the confidence or home backing to try this. The sessions have been changed at short notice and have been tailored to suit the group. The sessions have reinforced the importance of technique, respect and always improving every day – This mirrors closely the Growth mindset and “learning pit” that the pupils are familiar with.”

“I personally believe that these Boxing sessions have been the highlight of the week for some of these pupils. Because of the positive impact that Boxing has had on these pupils, on two occasions, pupils who had already been excluded from school were allowed to attend these sessions, and then go home straight after – This is a credit to the impact the school felt the sessions were having!”

“Undoubtedly, this evidences the impact that boxing can have on the lives of individuals at a grassroots level.”

We look forward to hearing from you, and bringing you further stories highlighting the power of boxing in the coming weeks/months.


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