Hamer ABC receive funding to offer free sessions for people with poor mental health

Date published: 17 August 2019

Hamer Amateur Boxing Club and Community Fitness Centre have just received funding from Sport England to offer free keep-fit training sessions for people who are suffering from mental health issues.

The sessions will be run by head coach Steven Connellan, alongside volunteer coach Yvonne Taylor, who suffers from mental health issues.

Yvonne said: “Mental health problems are more common than people think. They affect one in four of us each year. The charity MIND also recognises the benefits of boxing and keep-fit training when dealing with mental health issues and there are a number of ways in which boxing training can have a positive impact on mental health. 

“Boxing training offers a full-body workout that is ideal for releasing stress, depression and increasing endorphins.  It can also improve one’s self-esteem and anxiety whilst also helping you lose weight. I myself have participated in these physical activity programs at the Hamer gym and it has made a real difference in my life. 

“Boxing clubs have a strong community spirit and coaches like Steven are in a unique position to be able to identify when people may be struggling and encourage them to seek help.”

Steven said: “Boxing clubs are usually based in the heart of many marginalised communities and we are in a unique position to be able to engage people with mental health services.

“Because of the funding so generously donated to us by Sport England, we are now able to offer free boxing and keep-fit sessions to people aged 16 and over who may be suffering from mental illness issues.

“All we ask is for each participant to bring a headed letter of confirmation from the organisation that has forwarded them on to us and, if they attend up to three times, a testimonial.”

A spokesperson for Rochdale and District Mind said: “Boxing, like any other sports or physical activity is such a good way for supporting positive mental health. It helps release stress, pent up and hidden emotions like anger or disappointment.

“It encourages you to challenge your body and mind which can give a you a sense of achievement. This really helps with self-confidence especially as there are lots of new skills to learn and an opportunity to socialise get support of a coach.”

Hamer will run seven sessions per week. Each participant will benefit from free membership and can attend at least one session free of charge every week, with an additional cost of £2.50 should they wish to attend more sessions that same week

Steven added: “We will also be offering up to three free one-on-one sessions per week for people to who struggle with group sessions. These sessions will be held during the day.

“We hope that by spreading the word on our work with mental health issues we can expand our programs and make a real difference to the lives of people within our community.”

The sessions began in July and run for 30 weeks.

Sessions will be held at the following times:


  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday 5.30pm-6.45pm

Female only (16+)

  • Tuesday 6pm-7pm

Male only (18+)

  • Tuesday 7pm-8.30pm

Mixed sessions (18+)

  • Thursday 7pm-8.30pm

Female only (16+) jogging/walking session

  • Thursday 6pm-7pm

Mixed sessions (18+)

  • Sunday 10.30am-11.30am

If you or someone you know would benefit from attending these sessions please attend Hamer Boxing Club at one of the session times and take a confirmation letter with you from the referring organisation.

Hamer Boxing Club
Unit 4, Rugby Road
OL12 0DZ

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