A year on, and the after school club run by March Amateur Boxing Club at Neale-Wade Academy continues to be roaring success.
Back in September 2014, March Boxing Club approached me to discuss how we could better support the club and promote the fitness benefits of boxing training to a wider audience. The result of our discussions was the decision for the club to partner with the Neale-Wade Academy to encourage young people into the sport, in the form of non-contact boxing training.
Neale-Wade principal Jason Wing, who has a strong commitment to promoting sport, embraced the idea enabling us to offer non-contact boxing training as an after school activity.
I met with the Chief Executive of England Boxing, Mark Abberley, at the House of Commons together with Dave Cole, March ABC trainer and Cllr Will Sutton, Club Treasurer, to discuss boxing funding and how we might secure a grant. Mark then came up to the constituency to see the club first hand. A £1,000 grant was secured from the boxing charity Central Society and Recreational Trust for new equipment for the club.
In January this year the England Boxing Club Support Officer East and Home Counties, Naomi Bickerdike, visited the after school club to find out more, with the aim to possibly grow the idea and encouraging other schools to follow suit.
I am pleased to say, March Boxing Club and Neale-Wade Academy are still catching the eye of England Boxing. The new interim CEO, Paul Porter, also recently visited the school to see the achievement for himself.
All involved are particularly pleased that the scheme has been overwhelmingly successful at attracting young females into learning about the fitness and training benefits offered by the sport. It is fantastic to see a national sporting body so engaged with the after school club here in Fenland.
This would not have happened without the dedication of the coaches at March ABC, in particular Dave Coles and Will Sutton, who do a fantastic job in ensuring the March ABC club is such a success.