SOUTHSIDE Boxing Academy are making sure they are still open to their community, even if their gym doors are locked for the time being.
The Boxing Scotland Western District club have been delivering a 10-week COVID-19 training programme via Zoom to members of their club and the wider community.
The club received funding via the Third Sector Resilience Fund to deliver the project, with one session taking place Monday-Friday for 10 weeks.
So far 46 participants have taken part in the training, with an average of 20 people participating in each class.
“It has been going excellent so far,” said Southside head coach Anton Quayle, who has been leading the sessions from his living room.
“We have opened it up to anybody, anyone who wants to come in and try is more than welcome.
“We have got a programme that we work to, we do a warm-up and then a strength session and then a technical session and a challenge towards the end.
“We are also empowering the Young Leaders within our club, we have two Young Leaders and one is taking the class on a Tuesday and the other is taking it on the Thursday.
“We will do it for the full 10 weeks, even if we can get in the club before then, as a lot of people might not want to come into a gym for a while, people will be cautious.”
Just as important as the boxing training sessions is the one that follows, as the Glasgow-based club hold an additional Zoom meeting to discuss the participants mental health.
“We then start up another Zoom for the kids to talk to them to see how they are for their mental health,” explained Anton, who admitted as a people-person the current lockdown situation has been tough.
“I say to them, ‘I’ve not had a good day today, has anyone else not had a good day.’”
“Before you know it the kids are telling you they have had a hard day and are talking.
“We are part of the Scottish Mental Health organisation and so we are signed up to the charter.
“So that is something we do in the gym normally as when the kids come in the gym we do fist bump thumbs up or fist bump thumbs down to let us know how they are feeling.
“If they are thumbs down then I’ll pull them aside to have a wee chat to see what is up with them.
“I have had parents contacting me and telling me it is great that not only are we doing the Zoom boxing sessions, but that afterwards they have a place to go talk.
“We are constantly praising the kids and keeping them focused.”
In addition to the COVID-19 training programme, the £7,000 received from the Third Sector Resilience Fund will also help to ensure the club survives the current lockdown, with rent still due to pay despite the club being physically closed at the present moment.
This is a challenge shared by other boxing clubs across Scotland and Anton insisted the Fund was straightforward to apply to, with Glasgow City Boxing Club, Glasgow Phoenix Boxing Club and Hawick Boxing Club also receiving funding so far.
The Resilience Fund is a £20m Emergency Fund for community groups and voluntary organisations, such as amateur boxing clubs, to apply for to keep themselves afloat during this pandemic; (https://scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus/funding/scottish-government/third-sector-resilience-fund)
“It only took 10 days from us applying for us to get the money,” said Anton.
“It was excellent for us to get that. We would have been struggling without that money.
“I think a lot of other clubs will be struggling if they are in the same boat as us.
“But we got money and Glasgow City got money, so it shows Boxing clubs will get money if you write the application right.
“There are a lot of clubs out there who would be able to get it.”
If any other club would like assistance to apply to the Third Sector Resilience Fund, or any other assistance during this time, please contact your Boxing Scotland Regional Development Officer;
North District – Ben Holme, firstname.lastname@example.org 07702 866135
East District – Stewart Ferguson, email@example.com 07944 598755
West District – Paul Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org 07803 513699