Joe Calzaghe CBE wanted to honour the wishes of his late father and my great friend Enzo Calzaghe MBE to get boxing rolled out in schools as a non-contact sport. Joe Calzaghe CBE wanted to get this set up so that his sons would have a legacy business. Many boxers before Joe had tried to do this and failed, so it was about network and the right partners that we trusted to use the Calzaghe brand.
Boxing has been clinically proven to improve concentration, it provides stress relief, makes you calmer and increases self-confidence. It’s a game-changer.
Children have been shown to not only perform better in classes and exams but also to go home happier building more positive relationships in the playground.
With these few simple facts in mind, it’s easy to see why one of our oldest and dearest sports remains so popular and why its enthusiasts are so keen to bring back boxing in schools.
As Anthony Joshua, Olympic Gold Medalist put it, ‘ Years ago there used to be boxing in schools which would help with discipline, self-defence and confidence ….. I’d love to see boxing brought back into schools in some form. It doesn’t have to be sparring or full contact boxing. Pad work, skipping, drills, bag work – they’re all good for encouraging better behaviour and better ways of living your life. Boxing has helped me with discipline. It has really shaped me and made me the man I am today.
Sadly, way back in 1962 boxing in schools was banned, but thankfully it started being reintroduced in 2007 (under the supervision of the Amateur Boxing Association of England). Within just 3 years it was re-available in over a third of secondary schools – such a positive step for the future health of our young people. Government figures from a 2009-2010 PE & Sport survey found that boxing was offered in approximately 2149 schools (including 10% of all schools and 38% of secondary schools) and mainly as an after school club, rather than as part of the curriculum.
To add what I found interesting is there was an outcry late last year when they tried to ban boxing in prisons… as it was proven that boxing is the one sport that reaches the most outcast and segregated of society.
Particularly those with mental health issues and those that struggle to communicate their upset. There are seemingly countless anecdotes to show how boxing has the power to transform people’s lives.
Even a parliamentary group that involves politicians from all parties has been campaigning to introduce a surge in non-contact boxing into prisons, to help offenders learn discipline and self-control and take their lives in a positive direction.
Introducing non-contact boxing and boxing training activities into schools in my opinion would enable us to reach children at a young age and show them a positive way of dealing with the energy from anger or bullying or not being able to communicate. Turning this into a positive discipline and fitness and being able to reach those that need it early on.
I introduced The Calzaghe’s Joe, Joseph and Connor to dynamic businessmen and friends of mine Rob Oyston and Alex Lock from Sports Xtra who already had after school physical activity groups running across Wales and the UK (Sports Xtra). 18 months of planning, organising, creating programmes that worked with the curriculum and running initial school test sites and gathering feedback. Just after the launch roll out to the schools which were gathering speed across public and private schools in Wales including some of the most troubled and impoverished areas, where feedback about children’s happiness and engagement was in full flow from the children and the parents COVID-19 struck. With clever planning and a big pivot In June 2020, Calzaghe Mini Dragons online programme was launched utilising gamification and temptation bundling tactics.
- Full strategy and implementation
- Social Media training
- Online presenting training
- Digital systems advice and guidance
- Full media and PR support
- Full adoption across Wales in the schools
- The interest was shown from schools across Asia and the USA (Future global potential role out).
Despite Covid, The Calzaghe Mini Dragons programme has impacted over 3000 children in schools as well as hundreds of families online during the lockdown.
“Sian is top-notch at what she does, with a client and contact list to match. She has a rare flair and creativity that combined with her expert knowledge of marketing, PR and all-around business strategy puts her at the top of her field. Further to this, Sian has a natural intuition and foresight to join the dots and see the bigger picture, which allows you and your business the opportunity to thrive.
The above only touches the surface in terms of her qualities, but what really stands out for me as a small business owner is that she has the rare trait of truly caring about you and your business. This quality allows her to work with you and produce strategies from her playbook that are tailored exactly for you and your organisation to enable you to achieve your goals. Sian truly wants you to win, whatever that looks like to you, and goes above and beyond to help you to achieve that.
I choose very carefully when it comes to consultants of any description and I certainly choose Sian every time!”
— Rob Oyston