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LifeSkills programme covered in Boxing News

Walk into any boxing gym in Britain and there are certain things you would expect to find. A boxing ring, some heavy bags, maybe some old Henry Cooper posters up on the wall.

But how about a classroom?

Well, thats exactly what you would find if you visited David Coldwells new boxing gym in Rotherham.

The classroom is part of Spencer Fearns youth project LifeSkills using sports and education to help give young people a better chance in life. LifeSkills has linked with Coldwell Boxing to expand their Sports Courses and give the learners the experience of training with professional boxers.

The students also gain rewards for attendance such as tickets to Coldwell Promotions boxing shows. The LifeSkills course is attended by 16-18 year olds who are currently not in education or employment. Some of the students may be young offenders and most will have had bad educational experiences in the past.

The courses contains a mixture of sport related topics such as fitness, self-discipline, coaching and boxing overseen by professional boxers at Coldwells boxing gym. The students will also learn employability skills, personal development and functional skills in Maths, English and ICT.

During the 16-week course the learners receive a weekly allowance based on attendance and work archived as well as a South Yorkshire Travel Pass. Half the sessions are in the boxing gym doing practical training with a professional boxer and the other half are in the classroom where they work towards their qualifications.

Learners hear about the courses through Connexions and services such as Young Offenders, Young Peoples Service, Sheltered Housing as well as recommendations from friends.

LifeSkills is happy to report high retention and attendance of the learners who join the course. Working with professional athletes and coaches have motivated the young people to pay more attention to their own fitness and well being. The tutors have witnessed individuals who come from a background of smoking, drinking and drug taking cleaning up their lifestyles and actively striving to improve their fitness levels.

Recently the learners were ringside at Coldwell Boxings professional boxing show in Bolton. The tutors observed that the students loved the fact they had ringside seats and really appreciated the opportunity to attend such an event. The students had worked hard to prove that they deserved to go to the show.

On the leaving the course the students will have gained valuable qualifications that will certainly improve their future chances of employment or further education. Perhaps more valuable will be the self-confidence and discipline they learned and witnessed in a professional boxing gym. Hopefully they will be inspired by successful athletes and coaches from perhaps a not to different background from their own.

A huge amount of respect must go to the tutors, boxers, coaches and organisers who give there time to such an important project.

“What has particularly impressed me about the way LifeSkills work, is their ability to treat everyone as an individual. They recognise different skills and strengths, and work on these whilst also helping people recognise and improve any weaknesses. They've recognised the issues within our industry and implemented training that tackles these directly.”