Boxwise

BoxWise is the flagship initiative of the Nick Maughan Foundation. Working to empower disadvantaged young people through sport, BoxWise is a non-profit social enterprise that helps vulnerable young people build confidence, improve their health and wellbeing and maximise all opportunities around them.

Delivered entirely by accredited England Boxing coaches, BoxWise’s free 10-week programme offers young people a safe and controlled environment to channel their energies, whilst also giving youngsters respite from any difficulties at home and a free hot meal at every session.

BoxWise’s programme offers more than just an opportunity to practice boxing. Indeed, it helps young people develop six core values: purpose, adaptability, imagination, discipline, emotional control, and teamwork. BoxWise believes that helping young people apply these values outside of the ring will set them up for future success.

In addition to equipping young people with life-long skills, BoxWise also offers practical advice and progression routes to help its graduates enter employment or further education. Following one-to-one mentoring sessions, BoxWise’s previous graduates have gone on to complete vocational courses in Personal Training, catering, boxing coaching and many more subjects.

BoxWise is supported by a stellar team of Brand Ambassadors and Advisory Board members. These include professional boxers Hannah Rankin, Lawrence Okolie, Joshua Buatsi, and Anthony Crolla as well as the entrepreneur Ayo Gordon.

BoxWise began with five venues across London and the non-profit has since gone national with over thirty venues including Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, East Middlesbrough, and Telford, as well as disability boxing centres in Manchester, Pembrokeshire, and Sheffield.

BoxWise works closely with police and social services in many areas for referral of those most at risk. With youth services suffering a 70% funding cut over the past decade, BoxWise cannot operate at a more critical time.

We are proud to have recently expanded into Ireland and South Africa, with Uganda coming soon.

Latest news

Boxwise Advisory Board

Lord St. John of Bletso

Anthony St John is an Independent Non-Executive Director at the Falcon Group and a Crossbench Member of the House of Lords, as well as Lord-In-Waiting to HM Queen Elizabeth II. Having qualified as a lawyer in South Africa, Anthony St John spent over 30 years serving as a Director of many UK and internationally listed and unlisted companies. Anthony St John has a strong interest in Africa – particularly in the areas of mining, oil, agriculture and renewable energy.

Alexander Rhodes

Alexander is a Partner and Head of Purpose at international law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP, where he provides strategic Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) advice to help businesses transition to more sustainable and resilient ways of working. Alexander was also the founding CEO of the charity Stop Ivory, the head of the Secretariat to the inter-governmental Elephant Protection Initiative and is Chairman of the African conservation charity Tusk Trust.

Hannah Rankin

Professional boxer Hannah Rankin has several belts in her armoury. She claimed her first world title in 2018 when she won the IBO super welterweight belt. In the process, Hannah made history for her country and became Scotland’s first female boxing champion. After achieving this feat, Hannah set her sights even high and in 2021, Hannah was crowned a two-time world champion after taking on Sweden’s Maria Lindberg for the WBA and IBO super welterweight titles. Before pursuing boxing professionally, music was Hannah’s passion. As an accomplished bassoonist, she studied at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music and currently still freelances with Orchestras in and around London as well as running interactive concerts in schools and Care Homes with her wind Quintet ‘The Coriolis Quintet.

‘The moment I found out I had won the WBA and IBO super welterweight titles was very overwhelming. It took a lot of hard work and dedication but in that moment, it was all worth it. I hope that achieving this feat will inspire more women and girls to follow in my footsteps and discover the infinite benefits of boxing. Yet to truly widen access to the sport, organisations such as BoxWise that offer female-led coaching and adaptive boxing classes are essential. This is because BoxWise offers specialised classes and progression routes to ensure that those from disadvantaged backgrounds receive the support they need to make successful transitions to adulthood.’

Floyd Steadman

Education consultant Floyd Steadman is a Governor of HMC and GSA schools, is a retired prep school headmaster and a Vice President of Saracens FC. He was an ISI Inspector with strong coaching/mentoring skills. As well as his consultancy work (on diversity, equality & inclusion and other issues) with schools and companies, Floyd gives presentations to students and staff. He shares his life story, from being a child of the Windrush generation to playing for and captaining Saracens FC - one of only 14 players to be inducted into their Hall of Fame – and pursuing a career in teaching, during which he taught in both the state and independent sectors and was headhunted to be Headmaster at several prep schools in London and Surrey. Charity work includes supporting The Drive Forward Foundation, BOXWISE and Cancer Research UK. With his background and life experiences, he is keen to support youngsters gain in confidence and maximise the opportunities they may have.

Caspar Hobbs

Caspar Hobbs was the Chairman of England Boxing for eight years, the national governing body for boxing that overseas more than 950 affiliated clubs and more than 17,000 members across the country. England Boxing works to drive the sport forward by creating opportunities for boxers and supporting local clubs, coaches, schools and volunteers acting at a grassroots level. Before taking up this position, Caspar had a 10-year career as an Army, before becoming the founder of The Mergermarket Group and later CEO of Pearson Professional and Vocational Education.

Boxwise Brand Ambassadors

Joshua Buatsi

Since realising his Olympic dream and winning bronze at Rio, Joshua Buatsi is regarded as one of Britain’s best boxing prospects. In his tenth professional fight, Joshua defeated Liam Conroy to win the prestigious Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt. All the while, Joshua balanced boxing with his studies, graduating from St Mary’s University with a degree in management and sports science in 2017. Joshua now has his sights set on the very best names in the Light-Heavyweight division. With his explosive punch, there’s no reason he won’t one day boast a World Title belt.

‘For me, it’s never been a choice between boxing or books – I’ve always wanted to pursue both. Enrolling in a management and sports science degree at St Mary’s University, I would juggle lectures and late-night essays, with training camps and strength sessions. It wasn’t easy, but I’m a stronger and more well-rounded person for it. Recognising the importance of having a diverse set of skills, I’m thrilled to support BoxWise further its mission to help young people develop the skills needed to thrive in and outside of the ring. Whether that’s helping them into further education, or supporting them into gainful employment, the work of BoxWise has never been more essential.’

Lawrence Okolie

Professional boxer Lawrence Okolie has several belts to his name. In 2018, he beat his rival Isaac Chamberlain to win the WBA Continental Title, before adding the Commonwealth, British and European belts to his armoury in 2019. Yet it was March 2021 that ‘The Sauce’ won the ultimate prize – the WBO World Cruiserweight Title. Life was not always this way for Lawrence. Growing up in Hackney, Lawrence worked at McDonalds flipping burgers until one day Anthony Joshua’s Olympic super-heavyweight fight flickered on the screen, and he vowed to quit his job, join a boxing gym, and work hard to make his boxing dreams a reality.

Lawrence says, ‘Growing up in East London, I know how difficult it is not to get drawn into gang culture. I feel incredibly fortunate to have avoided these dangers, owing a lot of who I am today to the discipline, adaptability, and sense of purpose that boxing instilled in me. I’m glad more young people will now be given the chance to benefit from boxing like I did, with BoxWise offering vital support to help disadvantaged young people maximise all opportunities available to them.’

Ayo Gordon

Ayo Gordon is a successful entrepreneur, property investor, public speaker and mentor, who runs Millionaire Young, a platform that teaches people how to develop the right mindset to achieve financial freedom. However, for Ayo, the road to success has not been smooth. Growing up on a council estate in South London, Ayo was raised in a single-parent household and felt pressured to turn to crime to make a living. This was until one day, Ayo decided to take control of his life by making a commitment to himself to be successful young. Years of hard work followed, and Ayo achieved precisely that. He became a self-made millionaire by the age of 30 and celebrated by buying his mother a riverside apartment in London.

‘My pathway to success has certainly been a rocky one. I was in care aged 8 when my mum went to jail, I was expelled from school for fighting, and when I reached my teenage years, I was arrested almost every week. But I knew I needed to turn my life around. Through hard work, I’ve managed to achieve things I never thought would be possible. I hope to inspire others that it doesn’t matter where you come from, the ability to find success lies within all of us. It's for this reason I am proud to support BoxWise further its mission to empower disadvantaged young people to make successful transitions to adulthood.’

Ant Crolla

Ant Crolla, will be joining us as our latest Boxwise Ambassador. Ant brings a huge amount of experience and knowledge to our organisation and will be critical in helping promote the work that we do within communities across the UK and Internationally.

Anthony Crolla is a British former professional boxer who competed from 2006 to 2019. He held the WBA lightweight title from 2015 to 2016 and challenged once for the unified WBA and WBO lightweight titles in 2019. Ant regional level, he held the British lightweight title from 2011 to 2012 and challenged once for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title in 2013.

Harlem Eubank

Harlem Eubank is an undefeated super lightweight division boxer, who brings years of sporting experience to his position as a BoxWise Ambassador.

“Growing up playing sport taught me discipline, focus and essential life skills.

I walked into a karate dojo aged 7 and trained consistently for 4 years, gaining a black belt and 2 British titles consecutively. At 11 years old, I carried that sense of dedication and purpose into football training and began to play professionally for Brighton & Hove Albion for 5 years. But, when I was 18 years old, my passion for combat came knocking once again through boxing.

Boxing engaged me because of the way it helps develop you as a person both physically and mentally. After 4 years learning in the amateur ranks, I turned professional and have undertaken a record of 13 fights. I’m currently undefeated in the pro ranks, having overcome unbeaten challengers along the way.

It’s great that more young people will now have the opportunity to benefit from combat in the same way I did, with BoxWise serving as an incredible scheme for empowering young people and instilling the essential life skills that boxing brings.”


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