From education to employment

Boxing club learning facilities encouraging people to study.


A 24-year-old boxer from Huddersfield who recently won the Yorkshire Lightweight Title was in action again for the national title on Saturday.

Along with his training, boxer Jason Thompson is studying for a degree in sport studies, part of a new scheme to prepare sportsmen and women for a new career once their professional sports career comes to end./P>

The project, led by the GMB Union in partnership with SkillsActive, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the TUC (Trade Union Congress), ensures that skills are developed to improve employability and that is investment into transferable skills that provide individuals with alternative pathways to progress at the end of their sporting careers.

Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club, using funding from an initiative developed bySkills Active, the Sector Skills Council for active leisure and learning provided, Jason with the resources to push for a degree and to continue with his training at the same time.

Jason said “The facilities in the gym have helped me enormously in my studies. I can come to the gym, do a couple of hours training then get straight onto studying for my degree. A major factor in deciding to do the degree was that I would be able to use the learning facilities in the gym when I wanted, in an environment I feel most comfortable in”.

Tutors from Huddersfield Technology College have been brought in to help fill the gaps in peoples skills. The gym has also acquired computers and software, and provides pathways to employment through IT and Internet provision.

Mark Reynolds, founder of Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club, said: “The environment here inspires young people to learn by providing a one stop shop not only for their boxing and fitness training but also for their educational needs too.”

Such is the popularity of the learning centre that it is expanding in size to accommodate bigger classrooms and more state of the art technology.

Rob Williams, SkillsActives regional development manager for the Yorkshire and Humber region said: “This partnership is a real opportunity for sport in the region. We are extending the provision of training, information, advice and guidance for sport participants and the sports workforce.”

Chris Mitchell

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