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Sheffield Futures partners with GB Boxing

Sheffield Futures partners with GB Boxing

Tash Bright No Comment

Today Sheffield Futures celebrates the beginning of an exciting partnership with GB Boxing.

GB Boxing, based at the English Institute of Sport, prepares and trains the boxers that compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

The three year partnership will focus on the use of boxing as a tool to bolster Sheffield Futures’ community involvement work and to inspire Sheffield’s young people to achieve wider personal development through sport. There will also be a fundraising element to the partnership.

Sheffield Futures Community Youth Teams have seen the benefits boxing can bring to young people otherwise at risk of falling into risky antisocial behaviour, including:

  • Healthy eating and lifestyle: Maximising physical ability through nutrition and healthy lifestyle
  • Mental health: Feel good factor achieved through exercise and team sport
  • Social skills: Interaction and engagement which builds confidence and enjoyment in positive social interaction
  • Self-control & anger management: Self-control of skills and the ability to be mentally strong in exercising this
  • Self-defence and safety: Helping young people to deliver safe skills for self defence
  • Racism and homophobia: Discussion of legendary boxers that had been publicly victimised due to their race and the ethical implications
  • Gender: Conversations around the evolution in women’s boxing and its increasing popularity

Commenting on the partnership, Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures comments, ‘In our experience, boxing has been shown to be an instrumental sport for increasing confidence and self-esteem in young people as well as developing, health, social and communication skills, so this partnership is a natural fit for us.’

‘We’re so excited to have been chosen by GB Boxing as a charity partner and we are absolutely thrilled to be able to help even more young people through a sport which we know from experience, will resonate strongly with Sheffield’s young people.’

Matt Holt, Chief Executive, GB Boxing said: ‘GB Boxing has been based in Sheffield for 10 years now and we felt it was important for us to do something to support the city in the same way that it has supported us, so decided to established a partnership with a local charity.

‘We spoke to a range of organisations and the thing that impressed us most about Sheffield Futures was that the work it does is so aligned with the boxing and the social benefits the sport delivers.  Sheffield Futures is all about inspiring people, personal development through sport and giving every young person an opportunity to succeed, no matter how difficult their lives have been.  This reflects the experiences of many of our squad and is in-tune with the ethos of boxing and everyone at GB Boxing is very much looking forward to working with Sheffield Futures on a range of activities to spread the benefits of the sport to young people and communities across the city.’

Young people from Sheffield Futures and Empire Boxing were given the opportunity to launch the partnership with a visit to the GB Boxing training facility at EIS Sheffield. Many of the young people Sheffield Futures work with have not seen live sports before, let alone take a tour around the training facilities, met the athletes themselves and ask questions about how to take their own careers forward. We hope this will be the first visit of many!


James’ story

James, 17, from Sheffield was going down the wrong track, getting involved in anti-social behaviour and putting himself and others at risk until boxing helped set him on the right path towards a positive future.

‘Me and my mates were spending a lot of time hanging around on the streets and in local parks after school, getting up to no good as we were bored.’ he says. ‘We’d do stupid things like cause a mess and too much noise and we ended up drinking and smoking for something to do more than anything.’ he continues. ‘We’d often end up getting into fights between ourselves and with others, which I now see as really stupid, irresponsible and weak.’

James and his friends spent some time talking to a Community Youth Team worker at Sheffield Futures who introduced them to their local youth club. It was whilst at youth club that James was introduced to a boxing scheme that was being run to help young people learn the importance of discipline and self-control as well as get fit and healthy.

‘I was really excited about the thought of boxing.’ James decided to go along to the next group boxing activity to see how things were run and watch others get involved. ‘I was really encouraged by what I saw – I was expecting lots of really tough, seven foot men but what I saw wasn’t like this at all. There were women and men getting involved of all abilities, shapes and sizes. My mentor talked to us about boxing being about more than strength – that it was about exercising self-control and managing anger and aggression.’ ‘It made me think.’ he says.

James and a couple of his friends did have a go, in fact they’ve never looked back. ‘It’s opened a whole new world up to me he says. Somewhere to go and learn skills, it’s been great for me in terms of learning to respect my body, eating properly and not drinking.’

‘When you feel fit from exercise you don’t want to pollute your body with rubbish food and booze.’ In fact, the exercise made me feel so good, I didn’t need to drink or take drugs to alter my state of mind.’ Looking back I can see this.

‘But more than anything it’s helped me feel valued and confident and has given me the ability to control my aggression when I feel angry rather than lashing out and getting into trouble.’

‘I’d recommend getting involved in boxing to anyone who wants to feel better about themselves and gain self-control and confidence. It’s really changed my life.’

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.

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