A boxing club in Cardiff is using the power of sport to tackle issues in the local area with funding from the National Lottery.
Apollos Boxing Club has transformed itself from a male dominated club, where only competitive boxers could train, to an inclusive boxing gym at the heart of the community, where the door is open to anyone.
With £5,500 from the Be Active Wales Fund, the club have bought new boxing equipment to meet the demand of their growing numbers, and coaching courses to upskill their volunteers.
Thanks to the funding from the National Lottery, the club will be able to continue their amazing work within the Llanedeyrn and Pentwyn communities.
When Head Coach Carl Stephens brought Nicola Wheten in to evolve the club, little did he know that Apollos would more than double its membership and establish a thriving section for women and girls, making up a third of the total membership.
After experiencing the buzz of boxing, Nicola, who won the last ever Womenspire’s Women in Sport Award in 2023, has empowered women who have experienced abuse, and improved the mental health of women at the club through the power of boxing.
Nicola said: “We’ve been building up the female side of the club and sessions for young people, who don’t necessarily want to box competitively but want to feel a sense of belonging and a place to go to train and feel safe.”
“The Be Active Wales Fund has enabled us to buy new equipment and refresh existing equipment. Things get used to the maximum, so with this funding we’re able to keep up the quality and standard expected within a club such as Apollos ABC.”
What did the Be Active Wales Fund award funding for?
Apollos were awarded funding by Sport Wales because of how their work is creating an inclusive environment and removing barriers so more people can participate in boxing.
They received National Lottery funding for:
- Sparring Gloves – Providing sparring gloves can encourage more people to join without the worry of having to pay for their own kit.
- Boxing Bags – The boxing bags will become part of a ‘Ladies Corner’ where women can box and train in a comfortable environment.
- Smart Boxing Machine – An interactive wall mounted machine which is a fun way to introduce children with ADHD or autism to boxing.
- Blaze Pods – These flashing lights are also effective in engaging children with neurodiversity, helping to improve balance, coordination, and reaction time.
- Coaching Courses – Volunteers at the club will undertake coaching courses to deliver boxing sessions and receive training in safeguarding to ensure the safety of Apollo’s members.
- Other boxing equipment – A boxing swing bar, pads, kettle bells, slam balls and skipping ropes have also been funded to ensure there is enough equipment to accommodate the growth in participants at the club.