LETTER: Closing Derbyshire’s Ozbox scheme would leave a huge gap in the community

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I would like to express my concerns about the closure of such a valuable scheme.

My son and I have been members for over seven years and feel that this would leave a huge gap in the community. The coaches are so dedicated and enthusiastic making sessions fun and enjoyable for all ages.

They develop rapport with the participants as individuals and teach respect and discipline.

Many ex Ozboxers have gone on to pursue careers in the armed forces, including my own son.

The scheme encourages young people to be the very best.

There is a strong community spirit within Ozbox, rather like an extended family, supporting and encouraging each other. Many families also take the opportunity to participate in sessions with their children, myself included.

Ozbox also goes into schools to do sessions and as an educationalist myself, feel that young children would miss out on the opportunity to get fit, have fun and develop their social skills by teamwork or working with partners.

Both my sons qualified as boxing coaches through Ozbox as well as gaining first aid qualifications.

Boxers are encouraged to compete nationally and again, the support they get from both coaches and club members is phenomenal.

There is so much more to Ozbox than just a boxing club. Sessions are free, an important factor when you are a single parent. We also have social events such as a walking club, meals out and other fun events.

The scheme would be sorely missed and I hope the people of Derbyshire pull together to prevent the closure of Ozbox.

Debbie Saxby, by email.