Scrappers Boxing Gym & Community Fitness Centre held an Inclusive Boxing Showcase Event on Sunday 16th July 2017 from 4pm – 6pm at Scrappers Gym to showcase the skills of the people with disabilities that are participating on the project. There was refreshments provided after the showcase event by ‘Stratton Catering Services’ on the day and many people came along to see what great work we are doing to help those less fortunate and to support the people taking part.

The Scrappers Gym Agility & Fitness for All project provides regular weekly boxing skills sessions for people with disabilities at Scrappers Gym, sessions ran every week on Monday and Friday from 10am – 11am, however this from January 2018, these sessions from every Friday from 10am – 11am.

We have an average of 20-25 people attend the sessions each week and we are held the Inclusive Boxing Showcase Event to provide the people with disabilities the opportunity to showcase what they have learnt and to promote this fantastic project.

Many of our Friday morning boxers would never have the opportunity to take part in a boxing event in a mainstream setting due to learning/physical disability, so we felt they deserved to take part in an event where they can experience this in a controlled sparring environment. The participants worked extremely hard towards their first ever show, and this was a unique opportunity for them.

We aim to ensure that nobody is denied the opportunity to better themselves and their health.
We try to make sure that everybody gets as much as they possibly can out of each class, no matter what their physical disability.

The Swindon Children’s Scrapstore secured funding in January 2017 from the Big Lottery Fund to provide FREE boxing skills and fitness sessions for people with disabilities offering more choice and opportunities to enjoy the benefits of accessible physical activity and increasing participation amongst disabled people. The funding has also paid for new equipment that is suitable for use by people with disabilities.

Scrappers Boxing Gym & Community Fitness Centre is a project set up and managed by the registered charity ‘Swindon Children’s Scrapstore’. The gym was set up in 2011 to provide a low-cost alternative to expensive commercial fitness centres to enable access to fitness equipment for all allowing more people especially young people and those on low incomes to increase their health and fitness.

There are over 10,000 disabled people in Swindon including 3,000 with a severe disability and many find it difficult to access commercial gyms due to cost and lack of available support, according to Swindon’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Disabled people are a large part of the community and traditionally they have been unable to access commercial gyms and leisure facilities.

Our amazing boxing and fitness coaches are fully qualified and experienced work directly with young people and adults with a wide range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, severe mobility issues and wheelchairs users. Many of the participants have severe mobility issues and found that the exercise helped their mobility improve. This shows everyone with disabilities that there is nothing stopping them getting involved in sport.

Charlie Dawson is one of our disabled volunteer boxing coaches, Charlie who is one of only a handful of people in the world with a muscular condition called paroxysmal non-kinetogenic choreoathetosis, he also suffers from dystonia ataxia this is controlled by a neurostimulator implant without which Charlie would endure constant fits. Despite the obstacles, Charlies faces every day he puts his energy into helping other young boxers improve their skills.

Paul Rogers, Scrappers Gym Head Boxing Coach said: “The gym is open to everyone but it is marginalised young people, those from disadvantaged backgrounds and young people with disabilities or learning difficulties, who have benefitted the most. It has tackled isolation and improved health.
People seem to think it is just about punching bags, but when you start putting combinations of punches together you realise that thought has to be in there as well as the co-ordination of the body.”

Olivia McCann, Scrapstore Project Manager said: “This community project is the only one in Swindon which provides access to boxing for disabled people and proves that disability poses no limits to success. We aim to provide an affordable, safe, supportive and welcoming environment at Scrappers Gym helping to reduce isolation and increase participation. Since 2011 Scrappers Gym has touched the lives of more than 10,000 children and young people in Swindon and over the past year the volunteers have coached almost 2,000 youngsters.”

Scrappers Boxing Gym & Community Fitness Project was selected as one of the chosen beneficiaries for this year’s Swindon Charity Ball 2017. We received a grant of £2,516 to cover the cost of the installation of a disabled ramp outside the entrance to Scrappers Gym to enable easier access for people with disabilities. We would like to thank the Big Lottery Fund and the Swindon Charity Ball Committee for their generous donations which will have a massive impact on the lives of people with disabilities who want to use Scrappers Gym.

Scrappers Boxing Gym & Community Fitness Centre is located on the same site as the 24HR Gym, we are located on the Ground Floor of Sensor House, Langley Road, Hillmead, Swindon, SN5 5WB.

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