The boxing club is one of many amateur outfits that have joined England Boxing’s KO Covid-19 initiative which asks for donations to help clubs combat the temporary closure of gyms...writes Bradley Rice
Linzi Jarratt, a Telford ABC coach, has set up a just giving page as the club strives to achieve their goal of raising £800 in order to guarantee its survival.
Jarratt is one of three voluntary coaches at the Shropshire gym, and has been blown away by the immediacy of the community’s response to the scheme.
“I’m really shocked to be honest,” she said. “We were only expecting small donations, but some people have donated as much as £30 or £50, it’s been brilliant.
“And it’s really nice all the messages that people have put, and people have commented on how much they can’t wait to get back in the gym.
“It just goes to show you don’t realise what you’ve got until its gone. But it’s nice to hear, to know that people appreciate what we are doing.
“And a lot of our boxers have joined in with the campaign, posting videos of their workouts, of them training, it’s great to see.”
The whole operation is voluntary and Jarratt has revealed Telford ABC rely on people coming through their doors in order to keep the club afloat.
“It’s a real labour of love, but I absolutely love it. I have been around boxing my whole life,” she said.
“It’s all voluntary, no funding whatsoever, people come and use the club, it’s pay as you go for both juniors and adults.
“We don’t receive any government funding, or any other but we still have overheads to cover while we are shut.
“It’s not a huge amount we are asking for, but just enough to cover the rent and maintenance of the building.
“Also some of the money raised will go towards helping our amateur boxers get carded so that they can go and fight when we get back into the swing of things.”
Continuing, Jarratt explains that the work they carry out transcends the sport of boxing and the training provided can make a real difference to people’s lives.
“There is a perception where people think boxing is just brawlers off the street who want to punch things, but that’s not the case at all,” she said.
“We have a really wide range. Kids from the age of seven right up to people aged 60 come to our gym, we probably get over 100 people a week. And it’s so good for the mind, we have at least 10 people who come that do have mental health issues.
“Not only that but people with behavioural issues, too. And I really feel sorry for them in times like these as they have nowhere to vent or let off some steam.
“I’ve always said boxing is good for your mind body and soul.”
As for coping mechanisms amid the ongoing crisis, Jarratt admitted maintaining motivation can be tough but is still working hard to keep her fighters focused and on track.
“The only thing is, is that it’s quite hard to keep motivated. When you are in the gym environment, you have coaches at the front encouraging you,” she said.
“And we really do beast them, but when you are on your own, the challenge is can you truly push yourself as much?
“But I am still writing session plans for a Monday and a Wednesday, the days we usually train and we still chat via social media. I post the sessions on the page every week and even do them myself. I am trying my best to stay active and punish myself as well as them. And a lot of our boxers are training every day. A lot have the mentality that I will come back fitter and stronger than ever.”