Inclusive Boxing Hubs: focus on Wildcard ABC

July 13, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny


Last November, a selection of boxing clubs from around the country were selected to be part of England Boxing’s new Inclusive Boxing Programme, with St Helens’ Wildcard ABC among them.

Like all clubs involved, they were funded to deliver inclusive boxing sessions to members with varying health conditions and disabilities, supported by Activity Alliance training workshops.

Sessions have sought to help people living with ADHD, Autism, Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Asperger’s, as well as those with visual and hearing Impairments and wheelchair users.

So far, the 13 clubs taking part have engaged with over 200 members – and this number is growing each week.

Merseyside and Cheshire’s Wildcard have teamed with Ever Evolving – which offers education to young people and caters for all disabilities – and Mill Green School to deliver sessions within their club for a wide range of members.

England Boxing’s Club Support Officer for the North West and Merseyside and Cheshire regions, Alex Vass, visited the club to see the classes in action and was impressed by what she saw.

“The warm environment that Dom (coach Dominic Hodnett) has created for the members is all based on fun and engagement,” she said. “Everyone who attends is made to feel valued, which really makes a difference to anyone who steps into a boxing club.”

“The support staff from Ever Evolving were there on hand to help. Rachel, who works for Ever Evolving said that out of all of the activities that the group take part in, boxing is the most looked forward to.

“She’s also noticed improvement in their fitness, fine motor skills, and general engagement in exercise.

“One of the members who has really had a massive change since starting the programme was initially reserved and didn’t join in.

“She wouldn’t respond well to strangers, especially men. Now, she captains groups, takes people on pads, has lost weight, and is more independent around her home.

“Dom has championed all the participants for taking part, including the support staff. He has noticed the personal development from everyone, including the encouragement of each other and patience with learning new skills.

“The dynamic he has created within the class is that everyone helps each other, which is apparent within all of the games and activities they do.”

If you would like to find out more about Inclusive Boxing, click here.