Boxing Therapy

GizGiz grew up in a big family of 9 children, in which he was the second youngest. At a very young age his father left and his mother had no choice but to raise her 9 kids on her own. In order to do this she had to work 11 hours every day to provide for her family.

When Giz started secondary school things got bad for him. He was in and out of trouble for his behaviour and fighting. He somehow managed to stay in school until the age of 15, but at this point the school had had enough and he was permanently excluded. Giz mixed with the wrong crowd where drinking and smoking was the norm, as was dealing and handling stolen goods. Giz was always out until late at night, with no one to keep an eye out for him. Whilst out, he was doing and witnessing things that no one at such a young age should ever have to witness or be involved in.

When Giz turned 16 his unruly lifestyle caught up with him and he was charged for six counts, including murder. He was remanded into custody, where he served 14 months in Feltham YOI, before getting acquitted for all six charges at the Old Bailey.

When Giz came out of Feltham he tried to turn his life around by going to college. However, Giz’s confidence was low and he struggled with socializing after the time he’d spent in custody. So after only a few weeks, he left college and found a job as a delivery boy in Chinatown. It was here that he met Eddie Lam, who helped Giz to start a new chapter in his life.a few weeks in, Giz realised that Eddie lam was a former boxer for the famous club Fitzroy Lodge Amateur Boxing Club and he introduced Giz to the gym, which is only a few yards away from where Giz lived.

When Giz discovered boxing his whole life changed. It was through boxing that Giz made new friends and saw a different way of living. He's dreams got bigger and he was determined not to let the dark past become his future.

Sadly, when Giz was 20 he lost his younger brother (13 years old), who was the youngest of 9, in a road accident. This had a huge impact on Giz, who started to lose his way again and felt like he was on the edge. He felt that there was nothing was worth living for.

The only place where Giz felt at ease was at Fitzroy Lodge boxing gym where all his troubles and worries were left behind. Through boxing Giz slowly got his life back and track. He formed a bond with Mark Reigate (Head Coach), who recognised Giz’s talents and strengths. Mark got Giz doing some voluntary work teaching young people boxing. It was clear from the start that this was where Giz’s passion lay. He would spend hours training, not only himself, but also the younger generation from his local community. Giz thrived in helping young people to move away from negative behaviour and helping them focus their energy onto something more positive.

press coverageIn 2013 Giz met George Turner, a youth worker and the co-founder (alongside Mark Reigate) of Carney’s Community. George helped Giz to set up a boxing programme for his young people, which involved Giz recruiting and training a number of disadvantaged young people. It was through this work that Giz was nominated for a South London Press Award. Giz was then offered a job by George, to continue teaching young people boxing, and to help keep them off the streets, where troubles seems to be around every corner.

When Giz looks back at the past he realises boxing wasn't just a sport for him, but it was a way of living and learning. Boxing had changed his life for the better. Not only did it improve his life, but it has now given him the opportunity to do the same to other young people in similar backgrounds. It has allowed him to do something he loves, teaching and guiding kids from all backgrounds of life in a sport that he loves: teaching boxing!!!

This post goes to Gizmo one of the people I have most respect to. Happy birthday brother I hope you have an excellent day and hope you spend it well with your loved ones. Thankyou for everything you have done for me. Your one of the few I look up too and you teach me something new every time. You have taught me quite a bit over the past years as you was the one who taught me how to throw a punch. Anyways that’s all I shall say now. Don’t wanna go on forever. Much love and respect for you. Happy birthday Gizmo

A birthday tribute to Giz from one of his mentees