Disability proves no bar to boxing

From Left: Claud Sinden, Jack Smart, Carl Denne, and John Ward
From Left: Claud Sinden, Jack Smart, Carl Denne, and John Ward

NEW sessions at Hastings Kickboxing Academy are proving that disability is no barrier to boxing.

The academy, based at William Parker Lower School, is introducing wheelchair boxing following a couple of successful introductory sessions.

Owner Carl Denne is keen to show that having a disability that requires the use of a wheelchair for example, is no reason to avoid taking up sports such as boxing.

He said: “We have had a couple of sessions which have gone really well, and I want to grow it.

The first session saw Claude Sinden and Jack Smart from the Hastings Wheelerz, and John Ward from the academy, put through their paces.

The class was run as normal, with warm up drills and techniques adapted to allow for their chairs.

Jack, who has cerebral palsy, said: “This was a great chance to try something new and I loved every minute of it.

I’ve only done it once and have got the buzz already and want to do it again tomorrow if I could.”

The academy now has 12 sports wheelchairs, which can be used by disabled and able-bodied individuals alike.

Carl is planning to run wheelchair boxing sessions every two weeks to begin with, and already has around eight people who have shown an interest.

The idea is to give as many people the chance of taking up boxing as possible. A wheelchair does not prevent someone punching or training with weights.

Carl, who is also vice-chairman of Charity for Kids, said: “The idea has been in my head for about six months. A lot of people think ‘I can’t box because I’m in a wheelchair’.”

“They are learning self-defence, and we are giving them the option to build their confidence in a controlled environment.”

He also has plans to offer sessions adapted for those who are partially sighted.

For information visit www.hastings-kickboxing.co.uk or call 07949 221946.