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Collaboration: Elite Boxing Gym.

So, I walked into Elite Gym probably a year and a half ago, maybe a bit more, it was during lockdown, and they were after volunteers to help deliver food parcels to kids that are in need, kids that were hungry. I was still getting paid from the Army, so I thought, you know what, I am cracking up sitting here during lock down, so I am gonna go down and help, and that's what I did.

I remember when I first went down there, Alex and Foggy says, listen Shoei, it's not always like this, me you give it a few months and this place is gonna be bouncing, and you know what, it is! And I don't think it’s only bouncing because they do boxing there, it's definitely not just that, it's bunged to the rafters all the time because the people that are there are decent people. They really are, all the staff, all the coaches, and they're all very like-minded and they all agree, and they all understand that that boxing can make a difference to people's lives, from the kids that attend the free boxing or the people that attend the free over 50s boxing and everyone in between.

It was only recently that I've realised and found out that a lot of the stuff that they lay on in between training the pro fighters and the amateurs is - they're not getting paid for it. There's funding for some work, but most of it is done for free. And they've, they've done it because they've got the space and they've got the people there that are able to make a difference in people's lives and everyone that goes there has the same mindset of, ‘let's make it happen, let's help as many people as we can’. And let's be honest, this time of all of our lives, I think everybody needs a boost here and there and that's what they're doing, it’s amazing.

Ricky’s Club is a perfect example. Now, I know there was a bit of funding there for some tables and chairs and brew kit and things like that, but the people that run that, they are giving up their own time. Ricky’s Club is a men's mental health group that goes every second Tuesday and the feedback and the people that have been to that have all said and continue to say that they leave in a better place than when they arrived and that's really important and I think it's all testament to the way they are.

And for me, it (Elite Gym) made a huge difference in my life. It's kept me fit, it has given me a purpose and I have made some really good friends now and I can't thank them enough. The coaches, the guys that take the training, all of them: John, Jack, Liam, Scott. All brilliant. Foggy, Chantelle, Alex, you know they're all doing a really, really good job. And, again, thanks, thank you very much to you all.

So 21st of May. Here we go. Big event on at the UNIBOL, all there to raise money for a young girl called Dulcie. Dulcie is a five-year-old kid that has recently been diagnosed with neuroblastoma which is a rare but aggressive form of cancer, and it was pretty mad how that all come about really in regards to what was going on. The event was going to happen, and I was asked if I know anybody: a charitable cause or a charity that we could donate this money to after the event. And the first thing popped into my mind was Dulcie, my mate’s little girl so I gave them the option and that was it, sold there and then. The amount of effort that they've put into this is huge, it's gonna be a massive event. They said the other day that normally numbers drop off after about week three or 4 of training, people will drop off here and there in between and they'll be too busy or they don't want to do it anymore, but they haven't. The numbers are still turning up, you know two or three times a week, they're training in their own time and it's because they have a purpose. You know the amount of people that go to the boxing and say to me, Shoei we're gonna do this, this is gonna be class, I hope Dulcie is this… I hope Dulcie is that…she’s becoming a little superstar up here and that's a good thing because the more people that we can make aware, the more money we can raise for this kid. She might not need it today. She's five-year-old / six-year-old, going through chemo, but I'll tell you what, when she comes out that chemo and needs more treatment that’s when it's going to come into its own this money. And hopefully, it can give this kid the best start we can for her recovery. So that's why we’re doing it. A big thank you to everybody that's involved, because you're doing a great job and you're smashing it, and its hard work let me tell you. I didn't realise how hard it was gonna be, you know, I'm still playing football a couple times a week, boxing a few times a week and still doing my own training and stuff which I did anyway, but I’m starting to feel a pinch now. It’s a f**king graft, I can tell you that! But I am committed, the same as everybody else and we're gonna get it smashed and we're gonna raise a small fortune hopefully. On that, quick pitch here, I still have tickets here, but they are selling quickly, so don’t miss out and let me know as soon as you can.

Big thank you once again to the team down at Elite, from me, the veterans and probably everyone else that that attends something, for nothing, at the gym. Thank you very much

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