Blog entry by Niall Judge
Here, Alex Le Guével – Club Support Officer at England Boxing – tells Club Matters about what the NGB is doing to look after the mental health of its own employees, club members and participants during these uncertain times. He also tells us about some of the ways England Boxing is supporting its clubs at this time, plus shares some great examples of people pulling together in the face of adversity!
England Boxing is inherently aware of looking after the mental health of our workforce. It’s a topic that is openly talked about in team meetings, with many of us actively involved with mental health projects/causes both during and outside of working hours. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and the current self-isolation/lockdown protocols in place, it has become even more important for people to look after their physical and mental wellbeing. For England Boxing, this means we are actively encouraging as many conversations as possible between colleagues, both on the phone and via video call functions on Microsoft Teams. The importance of finding the right space to work in from home, eating and staying hydrated, keeping our minds stimulated, getting/staying active and combating loneliness have all been made clear and we are supporting each and every member of the team as best we can.
We regularly share examples of best practice around mental health and looking after general wellbeing with our members. To help during this period, our mental health lead, Tom Paget, has put together some handy tips here, which aim to ensure our membership remains mentally and emotionally positive in the face of the current adversity affecting us all.
We have also been encouraging and sharing examples of best practice from across the membership itself such as the new video blog, Black Country Blokes, from Kevin Dillon (son of GB Coach Bob Dillon) at Lions ABC in the Midlands, which is discussing mental health. As the situation develops, we expect to share a great deal more examples from our participants, members, volunteers and coaches.
A huge number of England Boxing member clubs have been sharing content that encourages their members to stay active during the current period of isolation including home workouts, live coaching sessions, sharing of training drills, etc. Amongst the main contributors is Mick Driscoll, England Boxing Performance Coach, who alongside the England Talent team is putting together weekly shadow boxing drills that can be used to keep fit at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. We are encouraging all boxers to send in their videos or share them on social media using the hashtag #EBShadowBoxing. We are also backing Sport England’s ‘Join the Movement’ Campaign which is seeking to keep the nation active and healthy despite the need to spend more time indoors. Now, more than ever, it’s so important to #StayInWorkOut.
The Covid-19 pandemic has presented extremely uncertain times for the sports sector and boxing clubs face many of the same concerns as other sports. There’s been a stark shift of focus from participation to survival among many of our clubs and England Boxing are committed to doing all we can to ensure our clubs are supported as much as possible at this vital time. As such, we launched the #KOCovid19 Campaign to clubs on Tuesday 24th March, where we hope to ease financial pressure by encouraging family, friends and businesses who know someone who has been training hard at a club to give what they can. We also hope to support clubs to start their own fundraising campaigns, which will be shared as much as possible on England Boxing’s social media.
We are following the advice and recommendations that are being provided by Sport England and the Sport & Recreation Alliance. The need for clarity is paramount at this moment in time and we are committed to providing our clubs with the most accurate and up to date information as it becomes available. In addition, we are keeping close tabs on the government’s updates and are interpreting this guidance in the most applicable way for our clubs. There have been several specific communications sent to our membership following government announcements, to highlight the information that matters most to them. These will continue as and when we receive further news.
If we as the sports sector can continue to ‘roll with the punches’ presented by the coronavirus pandemic, we will soon #KOCovid19 and move forward positively, with as many people as possible participating in sport and physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle.
A selection of unique examples and inspirational stories from across the England Boxing membership can be found below: