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Boxing academy fighting back after Covid-19

Community, safety and emergencies

16 December 2022

A young male boxer spars with a female colleague at the Weedon Boxing Academy

A boxing academy which gives focus to challenging young people is fighting on thanks to a helping hand from West Northamptonshire Council.

The Weedon Boxing Academy based in the village’s historic Royal Ordnance Depot has a 20-year-long track record of providing young men and women a safe place to train and learn the discipline around boxing.

At the height of the Covid lock-down they received a £1,000 grant from Covid Recovery Grant which paid for much needed equipment.

Weedon Boxing Academy

Parent Damien said his son Freddie has ADHD and was finding it tough at school. Damien said: “He had quite low self-esteem. He's always been quite small for his age, but we brought him here and he really hit it off.

"He started coming three, four times a week, it’s been two years this month and he's a different child.

"School described him as more of a leader now, whereas before, he’d sort of take a step back from things."

Cllr David Smith explained why he chose to support the Academy: "The club has gone through a bit of a challenging time, like many sports clubs and other voluntary organisations with COVID when they were closed for so long and we've been able to bring forward a grant to provide some much-needed equipment into a really well-used and fantastic community facility."

Cllr Smith also paid tribute to Aaron Hill, head coach and Academy founder. He said: “The work that Aaron's doing here is just fantastic.

"He's here four days a week and often then it's weekends away for boxing tournaments.

"So, what a fantastic role model that we've got in Aaron. And in fact, he was a nominee for the West Northamptonshire's International Men's Day ‘Role Model of the Year’, which he was a finalist in only last month."

Cllr Smith added: “This is a rural facility that serves a wide area, it gives some challenging young people a safe place to stay healthy and learn to be disciplined.

"It really is a mine of potential which digs down deep to find the very best of the people who come here."

Aaron said: “Most kids nowadays, they've all got challenging backgrounds and I think they've all got a harder task than what we had when we were younger.

"And the public's too quick to put a label on them nowadays. So, what I hope is to provide is a safe space, somewhere they can come when it gets dark at night and know that they're in a safe space to get fitter, healthier and with a bit of luck, learn some boxing."

Weedon Boxing Academy takes places in Unit 7, Royal Ordnance Depot, Weedon, NN7 4Ps every weekday evening (except Thursday) from 6:45pm till 8:30pm. All walks of life are welcome from 10 years and above and in 2023 they will start a Parent-Toddler session for parents to train with their toddlers from 5-10 years.

Each WNC ward member was allocated £2,500 of a £232,500 Councillor Covid Support Fund. Any voluntary or community group that believes they are working on a project which benefits their community’s recovery from Covid and would like to see if a grant would be available to them, should contact their local WNC Ward Member.

When an appropriate funding round opens, community and voluntary groups in West Northants can apply for a Community Funding Grant. To find out more visit the WNC Community Grants page.

Watch a video of these interviews along with some of the young boxers sparring during a training night on the Council's Youtube channel.

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