Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy honoured by the High Sheriff of Hampshire
Academy coaches travelled to Winchester to receive an award from the Rev Sue Colman, who was the Sheriff for 2020/21 - the club, a registered charity, having originally been selected in February of this year.
Main coach and mentor Knox White was joined by two other coaches, local policeman Stuart Grover and Hayling osteopath Paul Nelham.
The presentation was to the charity as a whole in recognition for ‘great and valuable services’ to the community. Heart of Hayling were nominated by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Charity Foundation.
It was not the first honour HoH have won – they were voted Club of the Year award in the annual Havant Borough Council Sports Awards in 2020.
The Academy, based at Hayling Island Community Centre, have provided boxing opportunities for over 400 children and adults since forming in 2018.
During the first six months of the pandemic, club coaches also delivered around 16,000 prescriptions to the Hayling population. Former Pompey defender Christian Burgess regularly joined the Academy coaches during that time.
The Academy’s 2020 Fighting Chance summer schools were also praised, as was their virtual reality mentoring scheme for young boxers who had suffered a particularly tough time during lockdowns.
Heart of Hayling official Richard Coates said: ‘We’re growing all the time - we’re starting to attract youngsters off the mainland now, from Leigh Park, Emsworth, Southbourne.
‘We’re the only non-contact club around.
‘It’s not just about the boxing, it’s about helping the youngsters get ready for life after they leave school - that’s the key to all this.’
Boxing sessions are held every Wednesday during term time. Classes are:
4pm - 4:50pm Senior Boxers (13-18 year olds or Bronze+) - semi-contact;
5pm - 6:30pm Senior sparring session - contact;
5pm - 5:50pm Junior Boxers I (5-12 year olds) - non-contact;
6pm - 6:50pm Junior Boxers II (5-12 year olds) - non-contact;
7pm - 8pm Ladies’ Boxing: strength and conditioning session.
Sessions for senior men are on Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact Mike Spencer (07710 585370) for further information.
Boxing gloves and all equipment is provided. A donation of £2 per boxer is suggested but no-one is turned away if unable to provide a donation.