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From exclusions to praise: An Aylesbury child's journey with boxing

The 9 year old behaviour has turned around after starting boxing

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 5:06pm 12th February 2020. 3-minute read.

From exclusions to praise: An Aylesbury child's journey with boxing

The behaviour of a child in Aylesbury is turning around after starting boxing.

Holly started boxing along with her twin, Harry, nearly 3 years ago and joined the De Lick Boxing Academy. 

Holly Granger's parents, James and Katie, received a letter from the headteacher before Christmas praising her good work and enthusiasm for learning. 

Previously, she has been expelled three times from school for her anger issues and threatening behaviour.

This is a story that co-owner of De Lick Academy Ollie Bessell is familiar with:

"Her parents were really great with identifying some of the problems she was having and dealing with them at home. But, I think it is important that there is someone outside of the parenting. 

"The improvements she has made are due to her having a focus, her having a self of personal achievements. There is a consequence for not conduction yourself problem, which may sound extreme. 

"We have a control over the children in the sense we can remove boxing from them, we can remove training... Some of the responsibilities we give to those that are behaving well, they don't want to loose these."

Holly and Ollie

At 9 years old Holly says she has learned a lot from boxing:

"I didn't want to do work, I was hurting teachers and chucking chairs.

"I've learned discipline. It means my listening skills are better and I'm doing what I'm asked.

"I like that you always have things to work on."

Her parents say they have seen a change in her behaviour and haven't been called to the school in the last year.

Holly is now excelling in school, has been awarded sports ambassador and hopes to one day be a part of Team GB.

Ollie believes the success boxing has at turning peoples attitudes and lives around comes from it being a solo sport:

"I think a lot of mental health issues come from people having a lack of self worth, or feeling like they're not good enough and they can't achieve anything. 

"For me, the reason that boxing is such a good thing for mental health is that its an individual sport. Everything you achieve in boxing is solely down to you.

"Me and Nathan (co-owner) can give you a platform, but all the hard work comes from yourself."

As part of their Crime Prevention Programme, children referred by a teacher, parent or carer because of their behaviour will train at no cost. 

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