Boxing session hits the target and proves a good ‘taster’ for the sport

The women and girls' Box 4 Fitness taster session hit its targets at Hebden Bridge Boxing Club, Mytholmroyd. Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald
The women and girls' Box 4 Fitness taster session hit its targets at Hebden Bridge Boxing Club, Mytholmroyd. Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald

The women and girls’ boxing fundraiser organised by Box 4 Fitness at Hebden Bridge Boxing Club achieved its aim of bringing in cash and offering an introduction to the sport.

Held at the club’s Mytholmroyd headquarters, it included five hours of taster sessions and raised nearly £1,000.

Boxing coach and event organiser Kate Dakers said: “Saturday’s fundraiser was a resounding success; we made almost £1,000 in five hours, which is more than we hoped for.

“This will cover the costs of taking our female boxers to training camps every month for the rest of the season.

“It secures our plans to take Hatty Nylan to the Elite Championships in Liverpool in April and the Haringey Box Cup, Europe’s largest tournament, held in London in June 2016.

“It will also help get our youngest boxer, 12-year-old, Mia Kelly ready for boxing at club level competitions.  Mia’s first competition will be at our club show in February 2016. 

“There are nine places in the elite GB squads (three places per Olympic weight category - flyweight, lightweight and middleweight) managed by the British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA).  Our ambition is to get our female boxers to that level. Hatty is well on her way and a fantastic role model for Mia.

“I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in making the day such a huge success, it would never have gone so smoothly and we’d certainly not have raised as much money if people hadn’t been so generous with their time, donations and participation.”

Around 50 people attended the event, mostly regulars with a few new faces, and Kate said: “We hope to see more first-timers as a result of the fundraiser and the interest it’s created in our local community.”

Mum Trine Powell who took part in the Mothers vs Daughters Boxercise session with daughter Iselin said: “It was a great taster session, really good fun to train with my daughter and a brilliant way to introduce me to the gym.  I’ve been to a few Saturday sessions but I’m definitely going to come more often. 

“The female community here is really welcoming and what a fantastic workout.”

Meanwhile “We were robbed,” joked mum Sally Coward who also took part with daughter Jordan who was on the winning Daughters’ team.  “Seriously though I loved it, and took part in nearly all the classes.  Everyone dressed up in 80s leotards, leggings and headbands for the Jane Fonda workout ‘finale’ which was a really good laugh and actually quite a tough workout.”

Kate said some people still believed boxing clubs were for men only and were all about “fighting.” She said: “This certainly isn’t the case here, we offer anyone the opportunity to train like a boxer, even if they have no ambitions to compete. We offer regular ‘women only’ fitness sessions, Kickboxercise for Girls aged 11-15, an Over 50s low impact class and a kids’ recreational session every Saturday morning.

“A lot of girls and women come along just for the fitness aspect but often go onto take part in the National GB Boxing Awards programme which teaches Olympic-style boxing.” 

There are six levels, open to everyone from the age of five – Preliminary, Standard, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum – providing an introduction to amateur boxing and an insight into the physical training needed, whilst also providing a platform to explore further opportunities within the sport.

The first three awards are all non-contact. The silver and gold awards involve technique development and condition sparring, and the platinum award, which is the most intense, prepares the boxer for skills bouts in the boxing ring.

Mum-of-three Jo Ruane started the Box 4 Fitness classes in April and is now hooked, having just completed her Level 2 (Standard) GB Boxing Award. Daughter Emily, 13, joined the Wednesday Kickboxercise for Girls aged 11-15 years class soon after, led by Instructor Rhea Carsmith and is currently working towards the Level 2 GB Boxing Award.

Together they plan to start the Bronze award in the New Year. Kate said “It’s wonderful to see mums and their daughters learning and training together.”

Jo said: “Learning how to throw a proper punch and getting a better understanding of the science of boxing is definitely empowering and makes you feel strong, inside and out.  Feeling stronger gives you confidence too, and I certainly have gained respect from the children for being able to do the most press ups in the house!”    

To find out more about the Box 4 Fitness Classes visit