KINGSWELLS Boxing Club are launching a free six-week boxing course for military veterans to help combat mental health issues.
Ex-Serviceman and Kingswells Coach Scott Milne is behind the initiative, which will launch this Sunday (May 30th) 15:00-16:00 at their gym in Stoneywood, Aberdeen.
The course is available for military veterans of all categories and ages, and was developed due to concerns over rising suicide rates.
“I’m ex-Military, I was in the 1st Battalion Highlanders,” said Scott.
“I found it quite hard when I got out of the army.
“In the last three years, I’ve known a few guys I was in the army with who have committed suicide, and it’s just down to not being able to talk to anyone and not being able to socialise really.
“Coming out of the forces can be dauting for people.
“However long they have been in, they come out and it is back into civvy street. It is hard, it is really hard.
“The reason we are doing this is to try to get ex-veterans out of the house to try and keep fit. It is good for the body and good for the mind.
“Suicide rates, especially in veterans, has gone through the roof in the past 18 months and we are just wanting to help.
“We want to get them out the door and meet new people. Even people who don’t want to train, we’ve got a kettle through the back and they can come and have a cup of tea and have a yap and have fun.
“At the end of the six weeks whoever has been the best, or we think has tried the best, will get free gloves, free t-shirt and skipping rope and four extra free weeks membership of the boxing club.”
Scott joined Kingswells Boxing Club during the pandemic, and feels it has been of big benefit to himself.
The 42-year-old started coaching eight months ago and was recently on the first virtual Boxing Scotland Level One Coaching Course to be held via Zoom earlier this month.
Scott added: “I thought the course was really good and I learned quite a bit from it.
“Craig McEvoy did a really good job at presenting it over Zoom.
“I am already looking at doing the Level Two course later this year.
“However, it was a bit daunting being on the same course as former World Champion Ricky Burns and showing him how to throw a jab.
“But he did have some great stories and he said he might come up to Aberdeen at some point to do a few rounds with us.”
If anyone is concerned about their mental health, the below organisations are available to provide assistance;
SAMH website – The website has a lot of useful information for organisations and individuals.
There is also a Coronavirus information page available. Lots of useful information including the – ‘Clear your head campaign’ an NHS initiative.
The NHS A-Z contact list of support from Mental Health Charities.
Big White Wall
Offers safe and anonymous 24-hour support
Student Minds – for Students in further education.
Wellbeing advice for young people
Young minds – School-age advice. They also conduct training courses for leaders of groups at a cost.
Sportscotland has a Mental health awareness workshop for Coaches and Volunteers – link below
There is also the Institute of sport mindfulness guide.
We have also researched several helplines listed below.
Breathing space: 0800 838587
Weekdays: Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2am Weekend: Friday 6pm-Monday 6am
Webchat is available Monday to Friday, 6pm to 10pm
Samaritans: 116 123 (24 hours)
email firstname.lastname@example.org (24 hr response time)
Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393
Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays) 9am to 6pm Text: 86463
No Panic: 0844 967 4848
10am-10pm every day