Club Case Study: Tackling inequalities with Parkinsons UK and TKO Folkestone

April 23, 2024 | by Chris Boyd


TKO Folkestone is an England-affiliated club located in Kent offering boxing sessions throughout the community. Recently, their Parkinson’s boxing sessions have proved a huge success in supporting individuals with Parkinson’s disease, managing their symptoms and improving their overall well-being.

Parkinson’s boxing classes have had a positive impact on the local community, with people travelling all over the county to attend. The classes have been instrumental in improving the physical health of the participants, with the structured exercises helping to improve balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. Regular participation in these classes has been shown to reduce muscle stiffness and tremors, allowing individuals with Parkinson’s to move more freely and independently.  

Beyond the physical benefits, Parkinson’s boxing classes also have an impact on mental health. Engaging in physical activity releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.  

Head coach Mark said “With the support from Parkinson’s UK and Active Kent and Medway we have made a positive impact on the community. Our numbers are growing weekly. We raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease and combat the stigma associated with it. They serve as a platform for education for the community and us as coaches.”

Level 2 coach Martin who leads the Parkinson’s group added: “Taking a Parkinsons boxing class can enhance a boxing coach’s skills and experience. Additionally, coaching these sessions presents a unique opportunity for personal development. It challenges a coach to think outside the box and develop training strategies for the specific needs of the individual. You have to think on your feet, the problem-solving aspect can expand a coach’s repertoire of approaches.” 

 “These sessions have been a transformative force in the local community. They provide a holistic approach to managing Parkinson’s disease, addressing both physical and mental well-being. These classes empower individuals, improve their quality of life, and foster a sense of community and support.” 

Here’s what some of the participants have to say about the sessions: 

JA Said: “Boxing has been a very positive experience. It is helping my strength, balance, coordination and confidence. It also challenges my mental agility. Our coaches are experienced, knowledgeable and always ready for advice. It is a sociable occasion too, meeting up with like-minded people to discuss our journeys. It is great fun, and we are lucky to have the club in the community.” 

CC said: “I definitely don’t float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, but I have fun, it makes me feel good and best of all, I have experienced no deterioration in my Parkinson’s. So, for me, it’s become an important ‘medication’ that I take weekly. 

BH said: “No matter how I feel these sessions raise my spirits and prepare me to cope with my daily life in my journey with Parkinson’s disease.”