A pioneering boxing (non-contact) scheme has proved such a knock-out success that it could now be used as a template across the area.

March Boxing Club has been running an after school club at the Neale-Wade Academy since September after they approached me about the need to raise the club’s profile and to promote the sport more widely.

As a result of discussions it was decided that one way to encourage young people to get involved in the sport was to work with the local Neale-Wade Academy.

Principal Jason Wing was delighted to help promote the sport and boxing has now been on offer as an after school activity since September.

Club treasurer Will Sutton is delighted with the success of the project which has seen at least a dozen young people take part in training sessions every week.

He said: “This is a great start, as a result of the after school club we have had a few young people sign up to the boxing club. We are now working with Mr Wing to see if we can introduce boxing to sports curriculum at the school.”

On Tuesday Naomi Bickerdike, Club Support Officer East and Home Counties Boxing England, visited the club on a fact finding mission with aim of taking the idea out to the area’s other secondary schools including at Wisbech, Littleport, Chatteris and Whittlesey.

Mrs Bickerdike said: “We are very interested to see how the project is working at the Neale-Wade with the aim of growing the idea so we can encourage the other schools to follow suit. Sport England have announced £250,000 worth of funding for a pilot project in Fenland and we are determined that boxing will receive a share of the money.”

I held meetings with Mark Abberley, the CEO of Boxing England, including one at Westminster as part of the my ongoing campaign for better sports funding for Fenland.

As a result March Boxing Club was given a £1,000 grant from boxing charity the Central Society and Recreational Trust for new equipment.

It is great news that the after school club is proving so successful and it also good to hear that England Boxing are looking at ways of encouraging more people in our area to get involved. I’m really pleased the national body is looking at ways of capitalising on the Sport England funding in Fenland.

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