Boxing helps teenagers with ADHD

The referenced BBC article gives an interesting report on how amateur boxing is being used to help students diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It gives some direct feedback from students who have participated in the programme.

“I used to lose my temper easily,” Levi explains. “I started a lot of fights and used to mess up the classrooms. I used to be really disrespectful to the teachers and felt so down all the time, thinking I was just a naughty kid. The diagnosis and medication helped,” he explains. “But it’s the boxing that really helps as I’m always so full of energy and struggle to concentrate.  My main aim now is just to get my head down and get my GCSEs.”

It is a similar story for 14 year old Alijah. She too has ADHD and her inability to concentrate meant she fell behind academically from a young age, causing her behaviour to spiral out of control. “The boxing really helps,” she explains. “It lowers my energy and calms me down, helping me to concentrate. After it, I feel a lot calmer and more sensible.”

A third pupil, Jamie, got excluded from primary school when he was just nine despite teachers knowing about his diagnosis. “Anger is a big part of my ADHD,” he says. “If I get annoyed it takes me a long time to calm down. But the boxing helps me get my anger out and it helps me control it.”

Run by Empire Fighting Chance, a Bristol-based charity that launched in south Wales in 2016, the classes are designed to teach confidence and resilience, improving the life chances of those involved. Jamie Parry, head of business development for Empire Fighting Chance said “We try to boost aspiration by providing good role models in the form of our coaches, and we drop in personal development tips about nutrition and sleep.”

Anything that helps young people succeed with their life should be applauded. Maybe Hong Kong could look at similar types of innovative solutions to such problems.

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