The Boxwise team returned this week from a 10 day trip to Cape Town, South Africa where we successfully launched two programs at PFC Gym. One schools based and one all female program which drew participants from various support based environments. We were lucky enough to be joined by our Boxwise Ambassador WBO & IBA world champion; Hannah Rankin. Hannah was a beacon of inspiration to our female program with the young women witnessing first hand what a successful role model within boxing looks like. Hannah provided the motivation and coaching alongside our own Boxwise team members of Rachel and Emma.
There is substantial challenge within South Africa at present around gender based violence, with Government initiatives around education and awareness currently underway. A critical part of our program was to help and empower women who have been victims of physical and mental abuse. It was awe inspiring to see their confidence and self belief grow throughout the program with the help and encouragement of the Boxwise team and coaching staff at PFC gym.
As with all our Boxwise programs in the UK a hot meal was delivered to all participants at the end of every session and it was a humbling experience to sit and listen to participants life experiences whilst they sat and ate. Friendships were built over the week and shared experiences helped individuals on their own journey of recovery. As part of the current documentary filming that is underway to capture the work of Boxwise we were joined by a production company who filmed throughout the trip, the team were able to visit the homes of some of the participants and talk to them on camera about their experiences and the challenges ahead, this was both powerful and emotive and a crucial story to tell, to drive forward the work of Boxwise in South Africa.
Boxwise will now be establishing a permanent footprint within South Africa with the launch of Boxwise programs this June at PFC Gym building on our initial success. In order to fully establish Boxwise it is necessary to cement the longer term opportunities around eduction and employment for future participants and this is a key area the team will be focusing on in the weeks to come. Nursing, Hospitality and Engineering are avenues of primary focus for further opportunity that Boxwise would like to support graduated participants to go on and achieve.
Additionally housing is a further priority that Boxwise will be looking into. The aim being to support individuals who are seeking safety from hostile and violent environments, currently refuges and save havens are heavily oversubscribed and there are limited places. There is much to do, however we must acknowledge the success of the initial pilot project. The Boxwise team had some fantastic experiences and we all grew as individuals through this experience, as the co-founder I look forward to returning at the end of the year to hand out the graduation awards in person, not just this year but hopefully for many years to come.