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Boxing Clever Programme Graduation - Class of 2022 graduates Tony Hoare, Therese Kehoe, Gerard McNamara, Kaley Bedford, Deirdre Walsh, and Elayne Aherne with their awards. Picture: Diarmuid Greene. Boxing Clever Programme Graduation - Class of 2022 graduates Tony Hoare, Therese Kehoe, Gerard McNamara, Kaley Bedford, Deirdre Walsh, and Elayne Aherne with their awards. Picture: Diarmuid Greene.

Sports

Another superb “knockout” for Limerick Sports Partnership Boxing Clever Programme

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Boxing Clever Programme Graduation – Class of 2022 graduates Tony Hoare, Therese Kehoe, Gerard McNamara, Kaley Bedford, Deirdre Walsh, and Elayne Aherne with their awards. Picture: Diarmuid Greene. 

The Programme aims to support participants to develop more resilient identities, while encouraging educational achievement, physical wellness, and a reduction in harmful or risky behaviours 

Boxing Clever Programme
Graduate Tony Hoare with his mother Ann and daughters Abbie and Ellie Mahon. Picture: Diarmuid Greene. 

The Boxing Clever Graduation took place August 24, 2022, at the Absolute Hotel and marked the culmination of the Limerick Sports Partnership 20-week integrated educational, substance use recovery and fitness programme which aims to support participants to develop more resilient identities, while encouraging educational achievement, physical wellness, and a reduction in harmful or risky behaviours. Eight graduates were presented with their Certificates in Limericks Absolute Hotel.  

The Boxing Clever Programme comprises two QQI Level 5 qualifications in Community Addiction Studies and Health Related Fitness accredited by the Limerick College of Further Education and a physical activity strand using Boxercise to build physical fitness. The programme takes place 3 days a week in the Northside Learning Hub in Kileely.


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Boxing Clever Programme emphasizes adult education, sports education, and addiction education and offers participants who are typically marginalised and socially excluded, an opportunity to look at how the varied and often complex issues that they have and are currently experiencing impact in their lives and provides them with an opportunity to reintegrate back into mainstream society.

Boxing Clever Programme was initially run in the Ballymun Youth Action project and was first rolled out in Limerick by the Limerick Sports Partnership in 2018 after securing funding from the Mid-West Regional Drug and Alcohol Forum and the Limerick City and County Council Social Intervention Fund.  The programme has been running each year since with over 25 people graduating.

Padraigh Reale, Coordinator of Boxing Clever Programme highlights the importance of how the programme is delivered, using past participants as mentors for new participants as well as having past participants delivering the Educational Components. “The delivery of the programme is very participant focussed and participants are guided through the various elements at their own pace. Extra support is available for those who might need it, but by and large the group become the support structure for one another. Having previous participants as tutors and mentors, acts as a motivational tool, instilling confidence, and belief. They have had relatable experiences to the participants and as a result are empathetic and supportive”.

Present at this year’s graduation was James Leonard, one of the hosts of the Two Norries Podcast. James was raised in Knocknaheeny, which he describes as “probably the most deprived area in Cork”. He in part ascribes his spiral into heroin addiction due to his father being in prison during his childhood. Leonard’s break with drugs and intermittent homelessness came after an overdose where he was found by two Garda Síochána. He explains that “at that stage I was looking for a way out, and that way was death. When these Guards – who I didn’t have a great relationship with by the way – showed me compassion and empathy, it really struck a chord with me. The next day, I rang to get on a list for a treatment centre.” After treatment James went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts, a Master’s Degree and a PHD in Criminology. He encouraged participants to use the Boxing Clever Programme as a stepping stone to a better life and to have belief in themselves.

For more information on the Boxing Clever initiative please contact Padraigh Reale at Limerick Sports Partnership on 061 333600 or go HERE 

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