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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Boxing Clever for Mental Health and Life Chances With Living Legends

In the presence of Legends! Bristol's Chris Sanigar and Frank Bruno
 It is very seldom you get to meet two boxing legends within two days.
I remember watching the Bruno vs. Tyson fight, and I remember, still with devastation and dread, the Michael Watson fight, that changed the way boxing safety was policed for ever.

Since then, both these living legends have soldiered on through very tough times. Frank's mental health issues were made very public, and doctors said that Michael Watson would never walk or talk again.

But both men are not only walking and talking, they are taking up the fight to help others through the sport they love. Frank Bruno is supporting Empire Boxing Club's new scheme, helping people with mental health, through boxing, in conjunction with the mental health services. I went to a session and saw how uniquely effective boxing can be. 

The amazing Michael Watson: 2nd row, third from the left
Michael Watson was in Parliament to launch "Fight for Change" - a Lambeth based charity, helping young people find a career and a future for themselves through boxing. As professional fighter, Jevon Young said,  "Boxing saved my life. I probably wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for boxing".

The All Party Group on Boxing , of which I am chair, is working on a report to shine light on all these remarkable schemes. I have never, ever seen anything tackle those toughest social challenges like boxing. We waste so much money on interventions to the 'hard to reach' which don't work. For so many, only boxing has the reach, and for so many, it's definitely the right hook.

Find out more:

Or about Empire Boxing Club  HERE

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Happy Halloween from The Giant Goram!

Happy Halloween and thank you to Dawn, Kim and all at The Giant Goram Pub, Lawrence Weston, for making me so wickedly welcome!