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Boxing Sessions Work Wonders for Mental Wellbeing
In September 2017, Lancaster & Morecambe College were awarded a grant of £93k in an attempt to encourage young adults to become more active and the Tackling Inactivity project was set up at Lancaster & Morecambe College, coordinated by Project Lead, Adam Cowperthwaite.
The project works by integrating physical activity sessions into students’ timetables, and sessions are tailored to the needs of learners, whether this is as a group or on an individual basis. One group of students which has been reaping the benefits of the project are those studying on the Level 3 Creative Digital Media course, where participating in regular yoga has improved the quality of college life for the vast majority.
However, yoga wasn’t the answer for 19 year old Louis. Louis found that he didn’t get the same benefits or enjoyment from it that his friends did, so instead, he discovered boxing where weekly sessions have helped build his confidence and control his temper, as well as getting him physically fitter.
Louis explains: “Before discovering boxing, I was pretty inactive other than occasional walks in the Lake District with my parents. I think my lack of confidence was the main problem, as well as the fact that I’m not a very sporty person. I was very body conscious and not very happy with the way I look, being very skinny.”
Louis was keen to be involved in the ‘Tackling Inactivity’ project and was very open about wanting to develop his anger management skills whilst improving his levels of self-confidence. The sessions started off on an individual basis to help Louis develop some confidence, and now the sessions have been progressed into an open gym environment combining boxing with a weights programme.
Louis’ mental wellbeing has also significantly improved. “It has helped my anger issues significantly. Previously, I’d get very aggressive and it was a problem for me, and for others around me, so I decided to start doing boxing and working out in the gym in order to relieve a lot of the stress that builds up over the week.
“It has definitely increased my confidence, I feel much better knowing I am improving in something physically. I am also a lot less stressed out, knowing I can take my anger out on a couple of foam pads rather than things which were getting me into trouble.”
Louis’ tutors have also noticed a dramatic improvement. Wendy Bickerstaffe, Creative Digital Media tutor, said: “There’s been such a change in Louis. Boxing has clearly helped him to develop skills to cope better in situations where he finds himself feeling stressed. ‘Tackling Inactivity’ has been a fantastic project as it’s also been a real success for other students who have discovered yoga for the first time, and are making it part of their weekly routines.”
Louis is extremely grateful for the project, adding: “I’d tell anyone considering whether to get involved with the project to go for it! It’s helping out people who aren’t even into sports to take part in physical activity. It not only benefits you physically in your strength and weight, but also with your mental health.”
Tackling Inactivity Project Lead, Adam, commented ““Louis has really benefitted from the project and has definitely grown in confidence. As well as being more confident to take part, boxing has proven to be a brilliant tool for his anger management and there have been many comments from other staff complimenting his much improved behavior. He loves attending the sessions and I’m sure he will continue his new, more active lifestyle.”
LMC Creative Digital Media student, Louis.
Louis practicing boxing techniques with coach, Vini Hardiman
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