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OUR YEAR

By 19th December 2021December 23rd, 2021No Comments

Last years end of year blog finished with the hashtag ‘#NeverGiveUp’. After a tough 2020, we were feeling very positive about the year ahead. But in January, along with the rest of the world, we were hit with another lockdown and the gym was forced to close its doors once again.

Frustration hit, but there was nothing we could do and we had to ride the storm, stay safe and be ready for when we re opened.

In 2019 we made the decision to become a social enterprise so that we could have a greater impact on our community. We did this to access funding. We formed a board of directors and agreed that we would put all income generated, straight back into the Training Cave.

Nearly 2 years later in 2021 we have seen our decision to change the way we work as a business come to fruition in a positive way. We bounced back from COVID and hit the ground running! 

The comeback

 

Our first major project of this year saw us travel around local parks with our portable boxing ring. Yorkshire sport foundation funded this programme and it was more successful than any of us thought it would be. Because of them, 481 young people got to train for free. Training Cave went into its local community and met some amazing people. 

 

Opportunity

 

Over the summer we received funding from the European social fund to enable us to run our own employability course. This allowed 16-25 year olds who were out of work or education to access our training. We used boxing as a tool to get young people ready for the next stage in their lives. We taught leadership, health and well being, enterprise, CV writing, interview techniques and public speaking. During the first course 8 young people started, 3 of those progressed into full time work or education. The second course is still running. 

 

Inclusive

 

A boxing class for young people with special educational needs has placed itself into our weekly timetable. Held every Friday 6-7pm for 14-19 years, the aim of this session is to give young people with SEND a place where they can thrive in their own way. This has become one of our favourite projects. Our competitive boxers often come in to do extra training during this time and help the young people out. It’s got a real community feel. A big lesson we have learnt, is the importance of bringing families together with different experiences who can support each other. Thank you to Yorkshire sport foundation for helping us start this.

 

Home

 

Over the last couple of years we have run a referral scheme through the Training Cave. This allows local services the opportunity to refer young people to us for a variety of reasons. Including young offenders, victims of crime and those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This was funded by the national lottery initially. Once these funds ran out we continued the project. We didn’t want to see the young people leave with no direction or support. This year, the police crimes commissioner, violence reduction unit and Yorkshire sport foundation came forward and continued to fund this work. The best thing about this scheme is that no-one in the gym would know who is here on a referral, everyone trains and supports each other regardless of their background. Training Cave is a home to many and we are very proud of that.

 

Old school is best school

 

In November we started our veterans class. This is for people aged over 50 years old that are either retired or semi retired. The initial aim of this project was to help those effected by early onset dementia. After reading studies, we had seen that sport can bring back old memories and help to tackle dementia and loneliness. Once we started this we realised that like our SEND class, we have formed another little community within our gym. Again, a favourite of ours, these are held every Friday 1-3pm. We do some fitness training, then sit and reminisce. Thank you to one community who have funded this project, it is very close to our hearts.

Boxing on the curriculum

 

Since the Training Cave began in 2017, it has been our dream to one day get boxing into schools. in 2021 this dream has become a reality. Starting with assemblies in primary schools. To building relationships with alternative provisions. We are now delivering after school boxing sessions and teaching boxing classes within the school timetable. We currently work with two alternative provisions and three high schools. Training Cave is now a registered AQA centre, allowing us to deliver accredited boxing courses.

Collaboration

 

This year we decided to not run our own summer camp for the first time in two years. We thought we could have a greater social impact by helping other youth organisations in different areas. We helped to deliver sessions at Oakwell hall and Fieldhead in Birstall, Shawcross in Dewsbury and Parkside in Bradford. In total we trained 470 young people after joining forces with other like minded youth organisations.

Leading the pack

 

Boxing is at the core of what we do and the Training Cave was set up because we want to produce competitive fighters. Amateur boxing was not allowed to take place since early 2020 because of the pandemic. The summer of 2021 saw the return of the sport we love. Over the last few months our fight team have come back with a bang. So far we have achieved two Yorkshire champions. Two reaching the national quarter finals and two winning Yorkshire regional belts. We are now aiming for national honours and believe that out of this group of boxers we can achieve that.

Our impact

 

In total, we have achieved 9,374 sign ins since we opened in April. This is all our work put together, from the gym to schools and community work. As our director Andy always says, we are a little gym with a big heart.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all those that have made the Training Cave tick this year. Our directors; Andy and Chris. Staff; Jack, Lucy, Brandon and Jack Kaye. Consultants; Malcolm, Nick and Nigel. Mentors; Seb, Audrie and Dennis. Bid writer, Mark. Accountant, Andrew. Personal trainer, Tasha. Website guy, Adam. Sessional workers; Will, Kim, Rahith, Shannon, Molly and Iyran. Our volunteers, who give up their free time for our fight team; Rich, Graham, Dave, Paul, Mally and John. None of this would be possible without these guys playing their own part.

As this year comes to an end, we are reaching the possibility of moving into a larger premises. If we manage this, our social impact will increase massively. We have major plans in place for what’s ahead, it is now a waiting game and more will be revealed soon. It’s very exciting times for the Training Cave.

We already can’t wait for the next year. For the new people we’ll meet, the improvements we’ll all make and the new member of the pack who is due at the end of May. Have a great Christmas and new year everyone. Happy holidays to those who don’t celebrate Christmas. We’ll see you all in 2022.

 

#StrongForLife #NeverEverGiveUp