Ozbox – putting the gloves on for a positive future
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Ozbox – putting the gloves on for a positive future

August 23, 2019

(music – hip hop beat) Ozbox is an inclusive initiative
based in Derby, which promotes community
cohesion and respect, and uses boxing training and exercise to support confidence-building
and general health and fitness. Citizens’ Eye had the pleasure of meeting
some of the people involved with the project. (music and sounds of voices and
punching bags heard throughout video) REECE: I come here on a Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday. I come here to train, listen,
and to have fun. JADE: Very friendly atmosphere, everyone’s
polite to each other, everyone’s approachable,
coaches are approachable. MATEEN: I box because I think it’s a good
social environment. I really enjoy it and it’s a good workout. BRIAN: I started boxing when I was 15
and carried on for three years until I had an accident at work
where I damaged my right arm, which forced me to retire
from boxing, the active boxing, and then quite by chance
I started coaching. My old coach asked me to pop down
to the gym one night ‘cos he had to go somewhere
“You’ll look after the youngsters.” And 50 years later, here I am!
(laughs) I just love the sport. The Ozbox scheme is a wonderful outlet for youngsters to get out there
and do something physical. You see kids develop, new kids
all the time, new guys all the time, and now we’ve got the female element, and
the females are doing really, really well, and they put absolutely
everything into it. They love it. We have Chantelle Reid, who’s
European Union champion, and we’ve got Jade, from Chesterfield,
she’s recently won a national title. From a Derbyshire point of view, we have
quite a strong contingent of female boxers. STEVE: Well, the benefit from what we’re doing is
the kids get self-respect, discipline … Examples of this are many, many,
because I’ve been doing it a long time. JADE: It’s helped me a lot with my career
and what I want to do in the future. MATEEN: I think the trainers are very nice. They’re
strict, but I guess it teaches discipline so it can broaden career choices.
So that’s good. REECE: My favourite parts are
the bag and the skipping. Skipping because, well, I think
that’s cool, and I like it. The bags, well, I get more stronger
and more accurate at punching. DWAYNE: The differences we’ve seen in some of the
kids was definitely a big improvement in their concentration, definitely big
improvements in the discipline, and you can see the old kids are really
good at doing what they do, and they get pushed hard. They’re down
here and they keep coming back each week, and yeah, they definitely enjoy it. ROB: The non-contact side, you tend to see kids
coming more for sort of self-esteem issues building up confidence, and then obviously
through the exercise that they do here, building up their confidence in how they
look, their appearance, their body. You get a lot of kids that come here that
have never picked up a pair of boxing gloves, but just through the love of watching
the sport think, I want a go at that. STEVE: The chief constable backs us by giving us
a PCSO, Rob Podmore, who you can hear in the background,
and Darren Comins, who’s a police officer. I’m a retired police officer, and it’s the
Derbyshire Constabulary’s main diversionary youth scheme, to make sure
that we get these kids away from spiraling into criminality
and antisocial behaviour, and give them something
to look forward to. We don’t charge anybody, and it’s a warm
environment where they can come in, they can learn, train,
and better themselves. CHANTELLE: Ozbox is a boxing organization. It funds
this Allenton Boxing Academy. I’m here because I box. I box
for England at the minute. Been doing it for a year and a half. It’s
good because the atmosphere’s good in here. It allows them to become better than, say,
if they could just do the standard punching. It allows them to compete for a place
and make them feel, you know, I’m representing a club, yeah. Make their
confidence better, definitely. BRIAN: My wife always says,
if you snap me in half I’d have boxing written all the way
through me, like a stick of rock.

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