Shropshire boxing coach's pride at award nomination
A county boxing coach has spoken of his pride after being shortlisted for a major national award in recognition of his gym's impact in changing people's lives.
Joe Lockley, director at Bright Star Boxing Academy in Shifnal, has been shortlisted for the 'Changing Lives Award' in the UK Coaching Awards.
The showpiece event, which is to be held at The Tower Hotel London on December 5, will celebrate the work of coaches who promote healthy and active lives, unlock potential, and provide a platform for people to thrive.
Bright Star Boxing Academy hosts 16 different sessions every week, with around 190 members attending.
Sessions include dedicated groups for people suffering from poor mental health, and people who have been victims of sexual abuse.
The academy is also assisting children who are facing potential exclusion from their school.
Joe said he was honoured to have been shortlisted for the award.
He said: "I work in sport and I have seen these awards being highlighted and these are top awards in the sport and I didn't think I would be nominated.
"I feel really privileged to be up for an award where the people who have been getting them before are people I have looked up to in sport and coaching."
Joe said that the category of the award was also important, and reflected the ethos and aims of the academy.
He said: "As a club that is the main thing we push towards – the community side of things. I have seen growing up how drug abuse, challenging behaviour, and poor mental health can affect people around me and I have also seen how beneficial boxing can be in terms of prevention and treatment.
"Being in a position where I can help change people's lives through boxing, that's incredible for me. For a lot of coaches they get a big win feeling when someone wins a fight, for me it is when I see someone turn their life around, I want to help that person."
Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching, said those nominated for the awards were people who had made a difference.
He said: “The standard of nominations we received this year has been phenomenal and truly demonstrates the diverse coaching talent we have in the UK.
"These awards are a chance for us to celebrate the work our coaches do every day of the week, and the role they play in making people around them healthier and happier.
"We believe Great Coaching has a positive impact on society and builds connections in the community. The power of coaching goes further than sport itself - it enriches life skills and gives people confidence to be the best they can be.
"Congratulations to all those who were nominated, and of course our finalists. The UK Coaching Awards is always a special occasion and we cannot wait to shine a light on the exceptional work of our coaches."