Voices of Boxing Futures

The lasting change our programme enables


Stories from young people we work with

With your support, this is the difference we’re making in young people’s lives.


Rosie has grown hugely since starting the programme

"It’s changed my mentality, I’m mentally and physically healthier."


She began experimenting…

Rosie felt she had nothing to look forward to. At school she often messed around in class and lost interest very quickly. Rosie withdrew. She had a limited friendship circle and thought she had no one to turn to. She says “I had no interest in anything or anyone, I was always late and felt I had nothing going for me”. Then Rosie started to be excluded. She began experimenting with drink and recreational drugs to escape from her reality.

Rosie’s support worker Susie suggested Boxing Futures and she reluctantly agreed to try one of our Boxercise programmes. At first she found the sessions difficult, having had such limited interaction with others for a long time. Sometimes Rosie would sit out of the exercises. She says “I believed nobody in the group wanted to talk to me and I found the idea of trying something new with people I didn’t know very scary”.

As time went on though, Rosie started to relax and make friends with others in the group. Her fitness and punching technique started to dramatically improve! She adds “I started to make friends and realised I was quite good at boxing. I enjoyed it. I had a purpose and started to feel as if I belonged to something.”

Rosie has grown hugely since starting the programme and is even helping coach new members and volunteering at our events. Through Boxing Futures, she now has something to look forward to every week. She says, “Now I have a lot more confidence and enjoy trying new things, like I did with boxing. I love meeting new people and take pride in my achievements with this programme”.


Karim is mentally and physically healthier

“Without Brothers through Boxing... I'd be eating rubbish and playing video games, never leaving the house unless I absolutely had to.”


He felt intimidated by the outside world…

Since school, Karim has felt like an outsider. He felt disconnected from his local community, depressed and extremely self conscious about his weight. Before Boxing Through Brothers, Karim rarely left his house; he felt intimidated by the outside world and was unable to maintain friendships.

Training once a week with other young men has helped Karim to not only improve physical and mental wellbeing but to also build connections with others. Over the six months of the programme, Karim threw himself into all the activities offered. He says “Without Brothers through Boxing I don’t know what I’d be doing now. Tell a lie, I know exactly what I’d be doing. Eating rubbish and playing video games, never leaving the house unless I absolutely had to”.

Karim’s now completed his bronze Boxercise award, as well as completing the “Road to Resurgence” activities which help young people develop coping strategies for stress, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and asking for help. After completing the programme there is a noticeable change in his outlook and he’s become an active member of the alumni community.

Karim’s attention to his physical wellbeing has also grown, for instance, riding a bike to training instead of catching the bus. “I thought I’d never use my bike ever again” he said, “I’m in a much better place now, I’m able to talk to people I know have similar things going on to me, I’m able to make friends. It’s changed my mentality, I’m mentally and physically healthier. I would definitely recommend Brothers Through Boxing to anyone”.


Maria is now able to communicate effectively

"I feel a lot more confident and don’t feel nervous when I meet new people."


She struggled at school…

At 13 Maria began to struggle at school; fighting and playing truant. At 14 she was expelled and sent to a behavioural unit. Sadly, Maria continued to fight and remained angry at others and herself. She worried she would not receive any GCSE’s but this just further fuelled her bad behaviour, which she struggled to control. Ultimately Maria left school with no plan; she felt alone and worried about what life had in store for her.

Maria says “I did not want my nephews to grow up and copy my behaviour and it scared me that they may also follow the same path”, this recognition became a driver for Maria. She was first introduced to Boxing Futures through her case worker, as they knew she was sporty and played football. Maria was very quiet at her first couple of sessions but she had a natural talent for boxing. After a few weeks she began making friends and kept up her attendance. She started to demonstrate real motivation, discipline and drive on the programme.

Since joining Boxing Futures, people often tell Maria they’ve noticed a change in her. She said, “I feel a lot more confident and don’t feel nervous when I meet new people in the group or in day-to-day life.”

Maria feels strongly that Boxing Futures has helped control her anger and vent her frustrations in a positive way so she doesn’t snap at people and get into physical altercations anymore. Maria’s now able to communicate her points effectively in a group and started to explore a career working with children.

Maria has just completed her Bronze Boxercise award and is rightly very proud of her achievements. She has started applying for colleges and now holds much more hope for the future.


Danny has constructively changed his attitude to violence

"I don’t want to be known as a criminal anymore."


Danny consider himself something of a local ‘hardnut’…

We delivered a tailored 1:1 programme for Danny, a serial arsonist, who had spent the last 6 years in and out of prison. Danny considered himself to be somewhat of a local ‘hard nut’ who was proud of his reputation as a volatile and dangerous individual.  It was this persona, that Danny brought to the gym on his first session. When he started training with our coach, Danny tried to project himself, the only way he knew how, by bragging about his violent reputation. Our coach quickly formed boundaries with Danny and established that the gym is not a place for machismo and violence. As a former professional boxer, our coach was able to teach Danny the discipline that is the basis of boxing.

Danny responded really well to the positive male role model our coach offered him and began to constructively change his attitude to violence. The coach asked him to think about the impact his offences had on his family. How did that make them feel? How about comparing those negative feelings to his family’s pride at the commitment he showed to training with us? Danny was beginning to consider the consequences of his behaviour and reflecting on the impact he had on the victims of his criminal activities.  This was important progress for him, and his probation officer was astounded by the changes in Danny’s attitude.

During his last session, before Danny was about to return to employment via a bricklaying course, he stated “I don’t want to be known as a criminal anymore. I do not want people to walk across the other side of the street when they see me walking towards them. I don’t want people to be afraid of me anymore.”

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