Jovan Young is a perfect example of someone who has experienced the full cycle of receiving support (from Coaches Mark Reigate and Mick Carney) to succeeding in his chosen field and now being a positive male role model to many other young people, hoping to change their lives for the better!

Jovan narrowly (and controversially) missed out on representing Jamaica at the London Olympics 2012. He has now decided to turn professional in America. He had his first professional bout, in Miami in June 2012, which he won by a stoppage in the 3rd round and went on to win his second bout with a second round knockout.

I started out life being a bit of a jack the lad, running around trying to make a bit of money where I could. However, I had to reconsider this lifestyle when a disagreement led to me being stabbed in the back (hitting the spine and going 10 cm up my back). I decided to give boxing a try and was told that I had to visit the legendary Fitzroy Lodge.

I first met Mick and Mark when I started training with them at Fitzroy Lodge in 2005. Initially I wasn’t consistent, as I was out on the street doing what I needed to and would get easily side tracked. There was even an incident where we were at a boxing show and there was a tannoy announcement asking me to come outside and my car had been smashed to bits. However, boxing and my coaches support, really took me away from street life, the streets where my home and the lodge became my other home, where I cared, wanted credit and wanted to impress.

It was more than just the boxing though. I learned the things they couldn’t teach me at school – honour, respect, courage and to do the right thing. Mark could relate and would talk to me about his life experiences, and in time crime didn’t seem so cool anymore, it was about winning and being a good example to my team mates. The streets are not loyal, true or real but Fitzroy Lodge is! Mick really cared and I would never have wanted to disappoint him, he was like a father figure. Outside of the gym that kept me away from a lot of trouble, I always wanted to prove to him that I was a good guy and having admiration, or even just some respect, from him meant everything to me.

Thanks to the club, Mick and Mark, I went on to represent Fitzroy Lodge in many tournaments, including winning the London ABA championship title. It also led to me getting the opportunity to represent Jamaica, in tournaments like the commonwealth, AIBA World Championship and PanAm games. Boxing has taken me to places I would never have dreamed of going, such as Panama, Puerto Rico, Azerbaijan, Mexico and boxing for Fitzroy Lodge in hotels like The Grange St Pauls and the Ritz.