Concerned that boxing is given a negative image, Aona Mac Giolla Bhrighde is fighting back, showing how the sport can improve physical and mental well-being.
The 25-year-old from Maghera in County Derry/Londonderry is challenging those who say it’s too violent, encouraging them to give it a go.
‘Boxing often gets a bad press,’ explains Aona.
‘But there is so much more to it than just getting into the ring and fighting someone.
'You could get involved just for the training alone.
‘I have a high pressure job working in the emergency services and find that the sport helps me to think clearly and not get stressed.’
With Fixers, Aona and his team have helped produce a poster campaign.
Using the slogan, 'For a new beginning, try boxing', it aims to get young people to consider taking up the sport.
To enlarge Aona and his group’s Fixers poster, click on the image below.
‘I think the poster is very good,’ he says.
‘By showing where people can find their nearest boxing club, we want everyone to feel as though they can participate.'
Aona is displaying the posters at local youth centres and schools and has received positive feedback.
Heather Boyd, Project Worker at The Link Centre in Maghera, commented: ‘Having boxing on offer here provides an opportunity for young people to come together from both sides of the community.
'They develop positive character traits such as discipline and self-control.
‘Boxing against an opponent in the ring is violent by nature, but it occurs in an area where there is respect for both the rules and the opponent. This is good for young people to understand.’
Aona adds: ‘Hopefully this project will encourage others in my area and across the country to see boxing as something that has benefits.
‘Try it. Don’t knock it!’
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