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Champion boxer a knockout inspiration for Sutton youngsters

Posted onPosted on 7th Jun

Children at Leamington Primary and Nursery Academy, Sutton, welcomed local boxing hero Leigh Wood into school to talk about his journey to boxing success.

Leigh, who grew up in Gedling, is the British featherweight title holder and he took his title belts into the school.

As part of the school’s timetable, children receive lessons from Active Minds, a programme aimed at promoting children’s mental and physical health, delivered by Graeme Wheatley, a martial arts and boxing coach.

“We have been doing our Wellbeing Warriors programme and after-school club at Leamington for a few weeks and jumped at the chance to get Leigh in to talk to pupils about his journey,” said Graeme.

“Leigh’s visit was an inspiration to children, particularly following what has been such a difficult year for many.

“The discussions children had with Leigh will enable them to process what is happening in their own lives and provide an inspirational story they can relate to.”

Leigh said: “It is nice to come into schools and speak to the children. I would have loved it if a boxer had visited my school when I was their age.

“We have talked about working hard and setting yourself goals. The children have asked me some really good questions, about why I originally started boxing and what my training is like.

“I believe it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. If you work hard and believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.”

The PE Lead at Leamington, Oli Tatterson, added: “Leigh’s talk has really resonated ecause there are always times we need to get ourselves motivated. Hearing a professional has the same thoughts and feelings helps the children to recognise this is something we all face in our lives.

“It was inspiring to hear Leigh talk to children, particularly about resilience.

“Leigh is a prime example of someone who has succeeded through resilience and hard work. It has been amazing to have him visit the school.”

Ten-year-old Kayah Morland said she asked if Leigh ever thought about stopping, adding: “I wanted to know if he ever got nervous and wanted to stop being a boxer.

“He said he did sometimes, but explained that no matter what you do you have to keep going and try hard. I think that is a very inspiring message.”