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Knockout! British Adaptive Boxing

boxers in wheelchairs
boxers in wheelchairs

If you have a disability and believe it stops you from stepping in the ring think again.

Founder of the British Adaptive Boxing Council, Colin Wood, writes exclusively for ABLE2UK about the organisation which pulls no punches when it comes to inclusive sport.

‘(BABC) British Adaptive Boxing Council CiC was founded for people with disabilities who wish to train and compete in contact sports like Boxing.

We have recognised that there is currently the lack opportunities and platforms to train and compete to their optimum by using the philosophy of Adapt, Overcome and Achieve, our aim is to make a positive impact that will hopefully pave the way for a new generation of adaptive athletes and coaches that will inspire others to make a positive change. And have locations (Gyms) in Great Britain to help include all forms disabilities and not just one.

Targets On the success of the 1st bout that took place from 4th of December 2015, (BABC) has been asked to join forces with WBC to participate in further events, one of which is The WBC Cares UK, which aims to highlight up and coming talent, and BABC who was ABO Adaptive Boxing Organisation been asked to showcase how Wheelchair boxing works on future national and international events and set up WABC- World Adaptive Boxing Council with affiliation of WBC which Chris Middleton an ex vet has helped showcase on other events to promote wheelchair boxing which we had the privilege to compete on SAS vs US Marines at YorkHall. Upon realisation of the ability of being able to adapt a sport traditionally viewed as exempt for those with a disability, we are also looking at other sports as well with view to offering introductions to so many other sports and activities that could really make a massive difference to a lot of people’s lives.

We truly believe that by tailoring a sport to an individual’s needs, really enhances the possibilities of progression, encourages a healthy lifestyle, offers the chance of gaining new skills, accepting new challenges and importantly making new friends.

The biggest part of each new activity or sport that is adapted is the importance of the input, knowledge and point of view of the individuals that are destined to take part , that is what will ultimately allow each one of these to flourish, the boxers who took part in the event on the 4thof December, continue to build the foundations of the sports along with the future generations that have now want to face the same challenges, not just competitively but also innovation and ideas that open the doors for more sports adapted for disabled people to progress and flourish.

The development of Wheelchair Boxing, has been the passion of CEO and designer for (BABC) Colin Wood and the Adaptive athletes who have taken part and want to take part in future events and bring forward a new competition structure for a wider selection of disabled especially now that WBC have affiliated. BABC is a non-for-profit organisation whose aim is to improve the standard and expand the range of services available for Competitive Combat Sports for adaptive athletes which we have opened a door for Paralympics to take serious of Adaptive Boxing.

There is limited data on disability and obesity. It is known that people with disabilities are more likely to be obese and have lower rates of physical activity than the general population [3]. Children who have a limiting illness are more likely to be obese or overweight, particularly if they also have a learning disability [4]. Both underweight and obesity are an issue for people with learning disabilities. This relationship varies according to age and gender.

A boxer in a wheelchiar in the boxing ring.

These trends show that something has to be done, but very little is on offer, whether these are because they don’t get the media coverage they deserve or the facilities currently do not exist, we truly hope to be able to turn this around, by encouraging those with any disability to take part and get involved, we have:

* To assist with Inclusion and Diversity, making sure that a person with any disability should be given the chance to train, this will be achieved as competitors become coaches in order to let the knowledge base of each respective discipline to grow and flourish.

* Establish and use new technologies to further widen the base of participation of those with more severe disabilities that may prevent them from competing in a combat forum, but will allow them to display and compete in other forms of competition

* Promote, support and encourage wider participation in all forms of disabled Boxing.

* Examine the need for improving sporting existing facilities to accommodate disabled and offer advice to sporting authorities and Councils on all matters relating to the improvement of the existing sporting facilities and the provision of new ones for disabled sports. Assist with the dissemination of information on available disabled sporting facilities.

* Raise awareness of and promote disabled athletes, work alongside and raise the profiles of similar non-profit organisations and charities to heighten awareness and explore joint ventures.

* Act as an advocate, advisory service for a variety of combative sports and martial arts disciplines with special interests in starting programmes/ training facilities for Disabled Competitive Combat sports. Help formulate, develop, enforce and monitor appropriate classification’s rules, regulation and legislation to enable the safe and fair practice of disabled Competitive Combat Sports. Help obtain funding, sponsorship and grants to help individuals and groups to participate in disabled combat sports.

Future Goals

*Adaptive Boxing, Boxer-cise and Competition for any Disability

* Adaptive Cross-fit- with the realistic possibility of having both disabled and able bodies’ competitions being able to compete against each other in set events

*Introduction to wider community of disabled sectors

*Introduction to Wheelchair Rugby, Leicester Tigers

*Adaptive Modified Mixed Martial Arts (MMMA) Modified Mixed Martial Arts, As there is so many different categories of boxing and martial art, we have explored and established to the possibility of having clubs cater for those with a disability, with New Technology.

(BABC) is a dynamic organisation that aims to become a leading authority in being able to provide advice, services and support relating to the growth of sports and opportunities for all disabilities in sports particularly where there have been little or no opportunity for growth for people with a disability, in order to do this we aim to ascertain funding from sponsorships, grants and funding that will allow not only these sports to blossom, but allow people to actively get involved with making adapting and innovating ideas, Technology that genuinely make's a sustained difference to those with a disability be included more. This will be to have in each county due to Paralympics ambitions which means 34 countries have to be associated to have in UK and worldwide an Umbrella organisation to which deals with the same rules and regulations together as one organisation and helps for Inclusion of gyms to teach skills and if fit criteria compete on events. (One rule fits all)

In order to do this we aim to ascertain funding from sponsorship's, grants and funding that will allow not only these sports to blossom, but allow people to actively get involved with making adapting and innovating ideas, Technology that genuinely make's a sustained difference to those with a disability be included more.’

For more information visit the British Adaptive Boxing Council Facebook page.

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