As I flicked through my news feed on Facebook, I noticed a link to a White Collar Boxing event which involved eight weeks of training and helped raise money for Cancer Research. I decided to put my name down, thinking that realistically nothing was ever going to come of it.
A few weeks later I received an email providing the address of the boxing gym I was going to attend and asking me to fill out a medical. Needless to say sheer panic set in at this point as I questioned my sanity… A Primary 6 teacher getting in the ring… Surely not! Even still, the opportunity to get fit and raise money for Cancer Research was too good an opportunity to turn down… Even if it did potentially involve receiving a beating!
The first night of training at the famous boxing institution Breen’s Gym was torture. We were put through our paces immediately and told in no uncertain terms if we didn’t put the hours into training, the three rounds of boxing would be absolutely horrible. The people I encountered on this journey were both friendly and inspiring. The coaches John Breen, Eamon Magee, Sean Breen and Connor Williams were excellent at motivating the group and providing us with the much needed knowledge on how to defend ourselves properly. The phrase “Keep your hands up big man!” was shouted at me hundreds of times to me throughout the process.
Despite the brutal nature of boxing it is very clearly a sport which helps develop discipline and upholds great values which can help you in any walk of life. The friendliness of the other boxers and the togetherness of the gym members in what is ultimately an individual sport is something I didn’t anticipate. Everyone that walks in the gym is treated as equal and everyone in the gym is respectful of one another whether you are training for a world title shot or entering a charity white collar boxing event. One incident in particular sticks in my mind. I was doing pad work with John Breen and gasping to get a drink of water at the end of the round. As I turned to clumsily attempt to guzzle some water while wearing a pair of 16 ounce boxing gloves, Marco McCullough, current world title challenger and professional boxer, stopped what he was doing to squirt some water into my mouth. It displayed the humbleness that was instilled into everyone that entered the gym.
I won my boxing bout in front of 500 people and have subsequently raised over £400 to date. I have met some good people during this encounter and made some great friends. I would seriously recommend visiting your local boxing club to get fit instead of going to a typical poseurs gym. I will not only guarantee you will get a better work out but also be welcomed into a friendlier environment. I have found a sport I love and will certainly continue the training at the gym….whether or not I get in the ring again is up for debate…however, watch this space.
If you want to make a donation to my just giving page please visit the following web address:https://www.justgiving.com/ianhanvey
It’s for a great cause.
Last modified: June 16, 2020