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Newmarket's young people taking free boxing classes from Catch22 at local leisure centre



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Young people from Newmarket are benefiting from free boxing training sessions at the town’s leisure centre.

They are being run by Catch22 Suffolk Positive Futures and work to transform the lives of local youngsters, aged between 12 and 15, by getting them involved in an activity which, not only improves their physical fitness, but is also beneficial to their mental wellbeing as it gives them the opportunity to mix socially.

At the heart of the Newmarket scheme is experienced boxing coach Jon Dennis, head coach at Attleborough Boxing Club, in Norfolk, and a coach educator for England Boxing who works with Mel King-Tomlin. The pair are involved in similar sessions with youngsters in Mildenhall and Brandon.

Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre

Newmarket town, district, and county councillor Rachel Hood is convinced of the benefits of the scheme and has provided funding through her locality budget. The sessions have also received backing from Active Suffolk, the Suffolk Community Foundation, Persimmon Homes, and Abbeycroft Leisure.

First launched in October last year they were interupted by Covid restrictions but they are now back up and running.

“We would like to ensure as many young people are aware of the opportunity as possible,” said project co-ordinator Mike Chaplin, “as the project supports positive mental and physical health by allowing them to interact with their peers, and positive role models, as well as staying physically active and having fun.”

Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre
Boxing at Newmarket Leisure Centre

And 15-year-old Armani Baig, a student at Newmarket Academy, who has been attending the sessions since they were launched, said she really enjoyed being part of the project and, according to coach, Mel King-Tomlin is already showing real talent.

The sessions are held at Newmarket Leisure Centre on Tuesdays from 5.40-6.30pm and young people are welcome to turn up.

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