“Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There’s nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring”.
This quote from the great Sugar Ray Leonard is the reason many others and I have decided to take up boxing. When I heard of the boxing academy at City College Brighton I knew that I would write a feature on it because this sport has a connection with me that I do not want to lose.
As soon as I entered the boxing gym at City College East Campus I was immediately struck by the size of it as I had never seen or trained in a gym of that size.
Two of the walls were covered with pictures of all the great boxers that have graced the squared circle through the years, and it is these pictures which immortalise what hard work and dedication in this sport can do. Turning a nobody into a somebody.
Adam Haniver fought as an amateur for 12 years and he explained to me the structure of the course and what he hopes his students will learn under him.
The course which began back in November 2010 hopes to develop the boxers’ training cycle which consists of planning, execution and analysis of their personal training so they are able to train without the supervision of a coach.
The students study their Sports BTEC and NVQ in boxing and attend classes throughout the week as well as training in the gym with Adam each afternoon.
A mixture of fitness and boxing technique is undertaken during each training session with a focus on improving each fighter as they look to hone their skills and become the best they can possibly be.
“The people who partake in this course are Student Athletes. The student comes first” said Adam.
It has allowed some who have boxed at the academy to move on to university, something they had not envisaged before they began this course.
A number of the fighters have achieved great success since joining the academy.
Archie Hutchins won the ABA Junior Middleweight National Championship back in 2011 and Luke Blackwood of Woking ABC won the Haringey International Box Cup in June of this year and is one of the academy’s most promising young fighters.
There is no doubt that there will be repeat successes at the academy for many years to come. However before being able to join each student must have trained at a boxing club where they have been taught the functional boxing skills.
This is not a course for novices but for young people familiar to the sound of the buzzer and the noise a fist makes when it connects with a pad.
The academy’s aim for the future is to fill all 30 vacancies for the course, 15 boxers in each year.
Currently there are 23 who are part of the set up down at East Campus and I believe that in time there will be a course full of eager young boxers ready to improve on what they have learned already at their local boxing clubs.
By James Elliott