Friday, July 1st, 2022

Do you want to get fit? Then get fighting fit at the Sevenoaks Boxing Club gym – and you don’t even have to get in the ring!

WHETHER you are male or female, boxing training is the best way to get your whole body fit. That’s the bold claim of Paul Lynch, the founder and one of the head coaches at Sevenoaks Boxing Club.

And when you hear Paul’s reasoning behind this claim it’s hard to disagree with him. He explains: “You often hear people say, ‘he’s fighting fit’, but you never hear people say, ‘they are football fit’ or ‘they are tennis fit’.

PACKING A PUNCH: My Sevenoaks Community publisher and editor Frank Baldwin (centre) with Sevenoaks Boxing Club coaches Carin Soderberg and Paul Lynch.

“A runner concentrates on getting fit for running, a tennis player will concentrate on hand to eye co-ordination so they can hit a ball, a football player gets fit but mainly concentrates on ball skills and getting the legs and feet moving fast. A swimmer will concentrate on the way their body moves.

“A boxer concentrates on ALL of these things and the exercises and training we do ensure your whole body gets a workout.”

Some may argue that the ‘gentleman’s’ sport of boxing has been tarnished by the theatrical and almost pantomime shenanigans that go on during the build up to a big professional televised fight. But this is world’s away from what you will find at places like Sevenoaks Boxing Club which is currently based in a gym on the Gaza Trading Estate in Scabharbour Road, Weald.

As you walk in, you can immediately feel the atmosphere of fun and camaraderie, especially during the sessions run by Paul, his nephew Andy Knight, who is also a qualified head coach, and Carin Soderberg, a level 3 personal trainer and the only female Boxing Coach in this area.

CHAMP: Andy Knight, who is one of the head coaches at Sevenoaks Boxing Club, is a Level 2 Boxing Coach, PT and Level 2 Fitness Instructor. Andy started boxing at the age of seven and became Kent ABA Middle Weight Champion in 2010.

They, and the other coaches Peter Warden, Ross Redican, Shaun Catt and Chad Paczensky, are all volunteers at the boxing club, but those who want to just get fit can also take advantage of the professional Sevenoaks Box Fit classes which are held at the gym for people of all ages, abilities and gender. The cost of a class ranges from between £5 – £10 for an hour and it is possible to book personal training sessions from £45.

These classes are run seven days a week and include Box Fit classes and PT sessions. (see weekly timetable below). There’s even a Fat Dad’s Club for parents who would like to spend some fun time with their children while getting fit at the same time.

Paul says: “The idea was born when we saw dads watching their kids play sport and shouting lots of encouragement from the side-lines but not actually breaking a sweat themselves. Fat Dad’s Club gives you a perfect opportunity for mum and dad and the whole family to get a workout every Sunday at 11am just before having that Sunday roast.”

The Boxing Club sessions are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings with junior training (£5 per session – first session free) from 5.30 – 6.30pm and senior training from 7-9pm (£7 a session).

Paul, who was the Kent ABA Middle Weight Champion 1982 and is now a Level 2 Boxing Coach, Level 3 PT, and is qualified in sports massage, says: “Children can start at age 10. We will take them from the age of eight, but this has to be at our discretion and with the agreement of the parents.

“At 17 years old they turn senior and we have one member who comes for some one-to-one boxing training who is aged 76.”

The club also has one 14-year-old female boxer who is ‘carded’ and competes at shows.

WINNER: A scene from one of the Sevenoaks Boxing Club shows. More events are being planned this year – look out for the dates on My Sevenoaks Community.

Paul adds: “We have many people who come down just to have fun and for the fitness side. But if people want to climb into the ring and compete, we’ll help get them ‘carded’. This means they have to go through a medical with a doctor using guidelines produced by Boxing England. When you go to the boxing shows you have to be able to produce your medical to prove that you are fit enough to fight.”

“Whether you want to box or are just here for the fitness side, there is a great atmosphere as all egos are left at the door. There is a great social side and after some sessions we put the kettle on and have some cake and a chat.”

You will also hear people talk about the discipline and respect that people learn through being being involved at the club, which regularly involves itself in the local community.

For example, residents from places like the Leonard Cheshire Disability centre at Chipstead Lake, a residential home for disabled people, are able to take part in training at the gym.

Although Paul and his nephew set up the current club there has been other forms of Sevenoaks Boxing Club stretching back to the late 1970s.

Paul says: “When I was younger, I fought with the Sevenoaks Boxing Club when it was set up by John Hart. He eventually returned to his home town of Liverpool but he is still involved in the sport and now holds a senior position within England Boxing.

“After he left, I tried a few other clubs before another boxer and I decided to start our own Hildenborough Boxing Club. We eventually were able to set up the gym on the Gaza Estate in 2005 and decided to revive the Sevenoaks Boxing Club name. My dad became the first chairman and we have been here 14 years now.”

As well as entering boxers for amateur bouts, the club organises its own boxing shows in Sevenoaks. Keep an eye out of the My Sevenoaks Community website and Facebook page for details of these shows.

To find out more about the fitness sessions and personal training sessions and how to book a place, go to: www.sevenoaksboxfit.co.uk

For more details about joining the Boxing Club, go to: www.sevenoaksboxfit.co.uk/boxingclub

Alternatively, you can email: andy-knight@live.co.uk

Or call: 0787 293 3264

* Carin Soderberg’s story about how she became a female boxing coach with Sevenoaks Boxing Club is fascinating. My Sevenoaks Community will be telling her story in the near future.

GIVE THEM A RING: A timetable of the available group sessions at the Sevenoaks Boxing Club gym. Personal training sessions can also be booked. The contact details are listed above.

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