Coach from BBC's Idris Elba's Fight School helps Wakefield youngsters develop life skills

White Rose Boxing Club, in Wakefield, is giving young people the chance to learn new life skills as well as develop their ring craft in a free Boxwise course, led by Rachel Bower, a former national champion and coach on new BBC Two series Idris Elba's Fight School.

By Mark Berry
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 11:02 am
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 11:03 am
Rachel Bower, left, is currently starring in the new BBC Two series Idris Elba's Fight School. Picture: BBC/Worker Bee/Alexander Piper
Rachel Bower, left, is currently starring in the new BBC Two series Idris Elba's Fight School. Picture: BBC/Worker Bee/Alexander Piper

Bower, 39, originally from Walton, is now Head of Amateur Boxing at Rathbone and Hawley ABC, an England Talent Pathway Coach and a Met Police Detective Sergeant.

She is also the National Lead for Boxwise, a non-profit social enterprise that helps young people build confidence, improve their health and wellbeing and maximise opportunities available to them.

White Rose, on Denby Dale Road, is currently running the 10-week Boxwise course in which young people aged from 18 to 25 years-old box for an hour a week, learning transferable life skills such as goal setting, discipline and emotional control along the way.

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They are fed after each session and also receive guidance on opportunities for education and employment after completing the course.

The course is in its early stages but White Rose coach Sheri Walker has already seen positive signs. She said: "So far, several members of our Boxwise course have started to come to our amateur evening classes, so it is definitely working.

"They have already made massive progress. Me and one of our amateur boxers Cain Adams are running the sessions. On finishing the 10 week course, funding is available for the fighters who make a good impression in order to fund their boxing progress."

Bower has also been impressed by the progress made at White Rose, saying: "They are doing really well and the results are very encouraging."

Youngsters at White Rose Boxing Club are currently taking part in the 10-week Boxwise programme.

She added: "Boxwise helps to develop soft skills in a fun environment and we also look at how we can help the youngsters after they have completed it. We will talk to them about employment, courses and education opportunities.

"The focus is on long-term and developing skills that can transfer to real life.

"It has also been a lifeline for many boxing clubs, who have suffered in the last couple of years. The course has a knock-on effect on in helping to attract youngsters to the clubs and help them stay afloat."

Boxwise has already proved to be a big success and there are plans to expand it to more clubs across the UK, Ireland and as far as South Africa.

Young boxers at White Rose Boxing Club are already experiencing the benefits of the Boxwise programme.

Bower is a huge advocate for female boxing. She is part of the Aspire programme with England Boxing that provides opportunities for women and girls at all levels within amateur boxing to train together at EIS Sheffield with coaches from the Talent Pathway.

And White Rose Boxing Club will be running a female-only training group in the near future.

Bower is currently starring in the BBC Two series Idris Elba's Fight School, which is aired on Sunday evenings and is also available on iPlayer.