Club case study: Rathbone are Proud to #FightTogether
March 24, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny
Rathbone Amateur Boxing Club has two distinctive arms – one focusing on competitive amateur boxing and the other on community outreach.
It is a determination to fulfil the latter role that has enabled the club to reach many groups within London’s local communities since the onset of the pandemic, both virtually and in person.
The work of the Central London club, based in Fitzrovia, has created and preserved a community by engaging with the vulnerable and disproportionality affected.
Although the club run different programmes for different groups, the Proud to #FightTogether programme has had the most impact in this way. These are LGBTIQA+ friendly sessions that actively address concerns and make all comers feel welcome in a sport that has not necessarily been historically welcoming.
The programme, part-funded by the a National Lottery grant, Comic relief and the club themselves, has evolved with ever-changing social distancing restrictions and has ranged from online Zoom sessions and workout plans to YouTube tutorials and in person-gym sessions.
All of these activities have built confidence in the participants and enabled them to beat the isolation and loneliness for some that has brought on by multiple lockdowns.
Individuals have flourished in a safe environment where they are not judged and can be their true selves while forming lasting relationships with others who share their life experiences and passion for boxing.
The project has inspired trust in the LGBTIQA+ community, promoting social integration, as well as helped the club win an award from London Sport for ‘uniting London’. You can watch a film on Rathbone, made by London Sport, by clicking here.
But while the sessions are LGBTIQA+-friendly, they are not exclusive to that community, and club boxers and other programme participants have joined in to show their support.
Participants have gone on to join classes and clubs outside the programme after improving their skill, fitness and confidence. The programme has made boxing accessible, removing both real and perceived barriers to participation.
Rathbone have used their platform on social media and affiliation with England Boxing to promote the programme and inspire other boxing clubs.
The club remains a strong advocate for inclusion and is proud of their commitment to being truly inclusive, challenging outdated and elitist views in the sport.
Find out more about Rathbone ABC and the various community projects they undertake by going to their website by clicking here.