England Stars Visit FM Funded Boxing Club
Players from the England Men’s and Women’s teams visited Moss Side Fire Station on Friday 21st August.
Manchester Evening News headed down to interview United’s Jesse Lingard and James Wilson as well as Manchester City Women’s Toni Duggan and Fara Williams. Click here to see them.
Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club is an amateur boxing club based in Manchester.
The club provides 22 boxing and fitness sessions a week with no discrimination of age, gender, ethnicity or ability. There are sports clubs and leisure facilities around Moss Side, however, due to territorial constraints some community members cannot attend certain gyms and the boxing club is perceived as a safe and neutral ground with no gang affiliation.
The boxing gym has a draw to members as it provides them with a level of kudos and “street cred” that other sporting activities fail to do. This draw brings the young people into the club and trainers can then work on making this into a positive and potentially life-changing experience for them.
Of the visit, 22-year-old Jesse Lingard said: “It’s taken me back to my young days when I dreamt of being a footballer and it’s the same with any sport, it’s been amazing to see the kids in action and they just need to keep chasing their dreams.”
The club was set up by firefighter Nigel Travis after he spotted an empty space. Previously a boxer, Nigel had a passion for the sport and wanted to get the community involved. The club has gone from strength to strength, originally having one session per week – there are now 22 sessions per week for the local community.
Children at the club were visited as a surprise today. Of the visit, Nigel said: “These people are all professional atheletes so for them to come and give us recognition like that is great, it’s a nice nice reward for the kids and everyone involved.”
As well as getting the community fit and improving their general wellbeing, Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club unites a community which is sometimes torn apart by gang violence. As previously mentioned, boxing is a sport which provides a level of “street cred” and because of this, young people engage and are hopefully encouraged away from gangs and anti-social behaviour.
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[Story and photos courtesy of Manchester Evening news]