Bright Star boxing academy, in Shifnal, has been working throughout the lockdown, providing online sessions for its members, and has now been shortlisted for its work in the National Diversity Awards.
Not far from its previous premises, on the same Smithfield industrial estate, the academy’s larger unit has allowed for more space so boxers can socially distance while they train, while also crucially including a classroom.
The room will be used to deliver teaching and sessions for qualifications, as part of the academy’s focus on those who have been struggling with mainstream education and those not in education, training or employment.
Director Joe Lockley said they were delighted at being shortlisted in the ‘multi strand’ section of the awards.
“Originally, I saw there were 40,0000 organisations nominated and I didn’t think a fairly new club from Shifnal would be able match national organisations, but the judging panel decided to put us through, which is amazing.
"There are a lot of organisations doing a lot of great work and we are lucky to partner with so many good organisations: Care homes, recovery centres, mental health organisations and charities, each of the groups we try and help has different needs and it is great to see how we can use boxing to provide solutions and support for people in all of these groups.
“It can be so beneficial in terms of mental health, self belief and confidence, and for young people dealing with aggression.
“It shows you don’t have to be the biggest toughest person, you can come from any background and use boxing to achieve your goals.” The gym is hosting 14 sessions a week for 12 people at a time.