Teenager who has ‘turned his life around’ wins first competitive bout

May 3, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny


A North-East teenager who has used boxing to ‘turn his life around’ has won a first competitive bout on his club’s show.

Harry Jones was overweight, lacking in self-confidence and communication skills and suffering from mental health problems when he first attended Seconds Out ABC in Ferryhill.

Three years on and the 18-year-old has successfully completed his GCSEs and college before landing himself a job as a fork lift truck driver, alongside attending his club six days a week – Monday to Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.

“Harry didn’t have much interaction with other kids when he was growing up and, as a result, was withdrawn, staying in his room on his X-Box rather than going out and playing football at the park,” said Seconds Out Head Coach Paul Eddy.

“When his mum first brought him along after he expressed an interest in giving boxing a go, he was very quiet, hardly ever spoke and wasn’t at all fit.

“But we were able to spend time coaching him and he has gradually improved in every sense so that now he’s a shining example to everyone.

“He’s turned his life around superbly, so it meant a lot to all of us at the club, as well as Harry, when he won his bout on 13th April. It was a special and emotional moment.”

With Harry living around 14 miles away from Seconds Out in Finchale Abbey, he has now learned to drive and purchased a car to enable him to make the journey.

In the past, his mum and dad have actively supported him in attending and also taken an interest in the club’s fundraising initiatives, with the young boxer himself raising money for a local cancer charity.

Harry is now looking into the possibility of becoming a coach by sitting the England Boxing Level One coaching course, meaning he could help to develop the next generation of boxers.

Eddy added: “It’s amazing to see just how far Harry has come during his time at the club – it has really allowed him to flourish.

“His experiences and what he has been through to get where he is means he will have such a lot to pass on to the younger kids if he does go on to coach. He is an example of what boxing can do for you.”

“People often ask me how we measure success and it’s great to have your champions, as we have had with Georgia O’Connor (Commonwealth Youth Games champion in 2017).

“But I really think you measure success by people like Harry and the ability of a boxing club to make a difference to people’s lives, however small.

“Clubs up and down the country are doing similar work is so many different ways, which is, for me, what it’s all about.”