Braid Amateur Boxing Club is fighting fit!
BRAID ABC, who recently held an open night to showcase the work currently being carried out in the Ballymena Gym, are encouraged by the success of the night.
“On so many different levels the night was a huge success,” states John McLeister, Head coach at Braid ABC.
“The primary reason behind this event was to give parents, friends and supporters an opportunity to come inside the club and see what facilities and support are available for young people right on their doorstep.
“We were delighted by the huge support and al those in attendance. It gave us an opportunity to tell everyone about our accomplishments this past season and how we intend to build upon it.
“The night was all about our young stars, the younger boxers of the club and how boxing can transform their lives, we put on display with some of our junior team who boxed visiting boxers from North Antrim clubs as well as our neighbouring club All Saints.
“The boys did us so proud and everyone was so impressed by their ability and skill at such a young age. It couldnt have came at a better time for some of the boxers who performed as it gave four of them a warm up prior to competing in the Co Antrim championships.”
McLeister also outlined plans for a year long initiative – entitled Braid Boxing Against Bullying - that the club will launch very soon.
“We hope to use our club as a catalyst for change in providing important facts and support information for those affected by bullying, particularly those children of between primary school and High school age.
“This transition from primary education can bring about so much change and can really affect the mindset of some kids.
“Bullying can manifest itself at this stage and we feel that the sport of boxing and positive support can help. Boxing as a sport can provide the solution for those being bullied or those who may find themselves being the aggressor. Boxing training will develop self discipline, self control and most importantly confidence.
“We plan to contact local schools and provide flyers using our success to illustrate that bullying is wrong and unfair, It will give these young people a place to go where they will be taught that bullying does not give anyone status or provide anyone with that satisfaction or thrill of high achievement.
“Braid ABC since opening its doors have seen children and young people transformed into sporting stars, full of character and confidence who perform in the sporting arena and therefore see no need to prove themselves in any other platform.
“These are kids aged between 8-12 and train alongside their senior counterparts in developing boxing skills, they are taught footwork and motor skills, basic combinations and defence. This allows them to progress into the boxing ring for combat sparring or non contact sparring before progressing into the next phase of sparring with full protective headgear.
“Many of the club’s 11 champions came through the mini boxing sessions and are now competing with the best in Ireland,” added McLeister.
Braid chairman John O’Rawe has thanked all those who attended and supported the open night, the volunteer coaching staff and committee for all their hard work; Grafters cafe for providing tea, sandwiches and refreshments for everyone and especially the Braid boxers for making the entertainment so enjoyable.