Learn how to make your club more inclusive

September 6, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny


A series of workshops aimed at coaches who want to make boxing at their clubs more inclusive is being launched this October.

International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS), Unorthobox and England Boxing have teamed up to run the three-hour sessions in three locations – Liverpool, Birmingham and London.

Workshops have been set for Saturday 12th October (Rotunda ABC, Liverpool, L5 7QY), Saturday 19th October (Pat Benson Boxing Academy, Birmingham, B9 4ED) and Saturday 2nd November (London Community Boxing, London, SE15 4RF).

They will include a presentation about the Mixed Ability model, practical skills to include participants of all abilities as well as a Q&A session.

The mixed ability model aims to promote social inclusion through sport, education and advocacy, with the practical element, mixed ability sport, integrating participants regardless of dis/ ability into a mainstream sport setting in their local community, taking part in non-adapted sports.

It emphasises the importance of regular, frequent and sustainable provision, self-determination, club membership and opportunities for social interaction for all.

“Boxing clubs and coaches are invaluable assets to local communities, and we want to support them in becoming even more inclusive, providing opportunities to all those participants who think boxing is ‘not for them’,” said IMAS’ Director Martino Corazza.

“These workshops have been co-designed with our mixed ability participants to provide practical guidance and support for including people with a wide range of dis/abilities or facing barriers to participation. Our ultimate aim is to empower participants, boxing coaches and gyms and to grow the discipline.

“Attending these workshops can give clubs and coaches the chance to meet others who are already inclusive, or are looking to widen what they offer, and share ideas.”

Sport England funding for the project means the costs of these new sessions will be subsidised at £10 per person, with limited places available.

Clubs and coaches attending the workshop will receive a certificate of attendance and this training will be listed on England Boxing’s The Vault membership system.

Unorthobox’s Founder and boxing coach Sarah-Jane Murray, who will deliver practical elements of the workshops, already runs inclusive sessions in Yorkshire.

She said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in boxing and fully inclusive sessions can be delivered with only minor adjustments.

“Most of our participants would never previously had the confidence to enter a boxing gym due to perceived barriers, and some of them have now progressed to train with their local amateur boxing club.”

England Boxing’s Head of Community Development, Ron Tulley, is pleased to see these workshops introduced as the sport’s national governing body looks to increase the number of member clubs who provide inclusive sessions.

“We have been working with certain clubs already in this area, but there is scope for many more clubs to adopt a fully inclusive policy,” he said.

“The hands-on practical workshops will significantly increase knowledge and confidence among our volunteer workforce.”

To book go to the IMAS Eventbrite page or email contact@mixedabilitysports.org