x Boxing Needs to Put Up a Fight
- Credit: Archant
Boxing Needs to Put Up a Fight
Contact sports have been impacted more than most through the Covid and it could become an existential threat to local organisations.
Lympstone Amateur Boxing Club have worked wonders through a tortuous 2020 but the absence of competition, proper sparring opportunities and a worrying lack of action from the authorities could spell disaster.
“Everyone was going great guns in the weeks before this second lockdown,” said Paul Silk from Lympstone ABC. “We had great numbers in the juniors and seniors, lads in the club and learning the sport.
“Unfortunately, as a general rule, we have lost boxers through a lack of interest during the virus because we’re not able to actually engage in real boxing, so it can be a glorified training session. We can’t use pads, there is no sparring and obviously no competitions. There is no actual contact and England Boxing need to formulate a plan for the sport at an amateur level.
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“There are ideas for training programmes but the biggest things that boxers need are pads and sparring. We haven’t been able to do that since before the first lockdown. It is incredibly frustrating and we have kids that enjoy boxing at our club, but the whole point of training is to be match-fit, boxing-fit. We are not able to do that and it’s not just boxing, all contact sport has been stopped.
“I just feel that the mental health aspect has been forgotten. I’ve got kids climbing the walls, this is their sport, their passion, and it’s been taken away.
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“I honestly worry for the future. Clubs are losing boxers because it is no different to visiting an ordinary gym or sports centre at the moment. We do believe boxing will come back but England Boxing needs to put up a fight.
“The kids attend school with the obvious absence of social distancing, so if the coaches are willing to put themselves in the position to train, we need a pathway forward.”
We all know the answers will not be easy to find but, with will and determination, boxing can have a future.