As you know, one of the main goals for the Girls In Gloves program is to introduce Girls Boxing into schools in order to help increase activity levels in younger females and to try and curb the landslide of young teens exiting sports all together.
Over the next few Blog posts Im going to breakdown exactly why we need as many School Female Boxing Clubs set up in as many Schools possible around the country.
The troubling problem is, the success of getting Boxing into schools generally relies upon the beliefs of those in senior positions. If they see boxing as aggressive and violent, two things the sport couldn't be any further from and always based on a lack of understanding and exposure, they refuse to even entertain the idea.
However, locally, we have had great success with getting into schools and then even further success with class numbers and this leads on to my first reason Why We Need Girls Boxing Clubs In Schools...
THERES A HUGE DEMAND FROM THE GIRLS FOR IT
Quite simply put, numbers dont lie.
When we started delivering female sessions in our first school (age group 10-12yr olds) we had 20 girls sign up, which, for a small school, was a large amount of interest. In fact, based on numbers and not gender specific, Boxing was now their most popular club, beating football, netball and rugby.
The more interesting number though, is how many we had 6 weeks later at the end of the term..
Well we had 25..
Not only did we retain the girls that initially signed up, we gained 5 more (even though we said 20 maximum, the school were really keen to get 5 more on).
This school had some reservations to start, but after seeing the huge success of the club, they invited us back each term until the end of the year.
They also invite us to their sports day each year where we get to run boxing sessions for the entire school.
The next threes schools we started at were working with girls between the ages of 14-17yrs, which is the age we see the biggest drop off in girls participating in sport. In two of the schools we had 40-50 girls register and in the third we had 80 girls register.
We ran these programs for different lengths of time, but for a minimum of a term and retention was around 90%. In each school, Girls Boxing became the most popular club and the feedback we got from the girls, the teachers and the parents was nothing but incredibly positive and inspiring.
So, if the demand is so high in schools and it helps to keep girls in sport, why are there not more Female Boxing Clubs set up?
Am I being harsh by blaming the schools system?
Is there a lack of coaches that have the time to set these up?
Is there a lack of coaches that want to set these up?
I guess one thing we haven't mentioned is funding and costs. We were able to either get funding or the school saw the value in what we were doing and dipped into their budget.
We did however offer some free sessions first, so maybe that's an avenue to explore.
I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you're a teacher, coach or parent comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For anyone interested, I releasing a new book next month and Pre sell has just began
Coaching Female Combat Athletes - GRAB YOURS HERE
Thanks for taking the time out to read this.
Keep posted for Part 2..