Veteran Success

Veteran Success

A Maverick Stars programme aimed at supporting armed forces veterans has grown from strength to strength, with hundreds now taking part at boxing clubs across the nation.

Delicious Orie at South Wye

‘Operation Warrior’ has proved an outstanding success. The eight-week courses feature boxing sessions, team building days, guest speakers and mental health first aid. Following an inaugural project in partnership with Tom Harrison House and Derry’s Gym in Liverpool, the programme is now being delivered throughout the north-west, north-east, the midlands and the south-east. Plans are in place to extend the scheme further.

Operation Warrior was set up to support ex-servicemen and women who encounter mental and physical health problems upon leaving the forces. Boxing has a positive effect on confidence, motivation, and stress levels. The initiative is the brainchild of armed forces veteran and head of Maverick’s veterans’ programmes, Tony Gilley.

“Many vets encounter problems when they leave the forces,” Tony said. “There can be problems with addiction, isolation, and poor physical and mental health. Our work is based at boxing clubs and the courses help raise self-esteem through improved fitness and other opportunities.”

The programme at South Wye Police Boxing Academy in Hereford has proved extremely successful. Maverick Stars ambassador and GB boxer Delicious Orie has been a regular at the sessions – when training commitments allow. The talented super-heavyweight is tipped for big things at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer, and the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Initiatives are also in place at Willaston ABC, Birkenhead, North Mersey ABC, Liverpool, Elite Boxing, Bolton, North Star ABC, Sunderland, Fox ABC in Oldham, Amir Unsworth Boxing Academy, Lincolnshire, and West London ABC.

Other boxing gyms have partnered with local football clubs to widen their community reach. Examples include Hamer ABC and Rochdale AFC, 5-Ways Boxing Club and Burnley FC in the Community, Derry’s Gym and Liverpool FC Foundation, Penwortham ABC and Preston North End and Curzon Ashton FC and Magic Hatton Boxing and Fitness.

Clubs Set for Defibs

Clubs Set for Defibs

Boxing clubs throughout the country have been awarded a vital defibrillator as part of the Maverick Stars 'Keep the Beat' campaign.

April, Shay and Savannah

The initiative aims to promote CPR techniques along with donating fifty defibs to amateur gyms. Headed up by Maverick ambassador April Hunter - who lost her cousin and best friend Paul Gardner to cardiac arrest in 2018 - the project is being run in conjunction with the charity set up in Paul's name, PGCPR.

The campaign also has the full support of April’s friend, world champion middleweight Savannah Marshall and Newcastle and Ireland goalkeeping legend Shay Given.

Sudden cardiac arrest in young people – including high-profile athletes – has increasingly been making headlines in recent years. Each year in the UK there are more than 30,000 ‘out-of-hospital’ cardiac arrests. The survival rate is less than one in ten. In some cases, performing CPR can more than double the chances of survival.                                             

Maverick Stars has provided the defibrillators to amateur boxing clubs most in need. It will help meet the requirement that every England Boxing member club will need to have access to and know how to use a lifesaving defib by 1st June 2022.

England Boxing Head of Community Development, Avoen Perryman, said: "For the fifty boxing clubs that the team at Maverick Stars Trust have selected to support with this amazingly generous offer, I just want to say congratulations and well done. It is great to see that your clubs will now have this key piece of equipment installed.

"To the remaining clubs who didn't make Maverick's final fifty, your regional Club Support Officers are on-hand to support and advise with securing a defibrillator in time for the June 1st deadline. There is also a new support page and guidance information available on our website.

"So often in our wonderful sport, we hear people say that 'boxing saved my life', and whilst that is true for so many, this vital piece of equipment at fifty new boxing clubs across the country could quite literally save lives for years to come.

"Thank you to Charlotte, and all the staff, volunteers and clubs that are part of the Maverick Stars Trust family. I know your efforts are greatly appreciated by EB's clubs."

Life Saver!!

Life Saver!!

A Maverick Stars Ambassador has been speaking of the importance of CPR and defibrillators after being called into action when a gym member suffered a cardiac arrest.

Wimborne ABC head coach Dave Rimmer performed CPR on Zoe Cluett after she collapsed during a training session. Dave continued to implement his first aid skills and called for the club's defib, which was then put to use.

Thankfully, all efforts were successful and Zoe's pulse and breathing returned. An otherwise fit and healthy 36-year-old, Zoe was back in the gym to see her friends just three weeks later.

Maverick Stars has launched the campaign 'Keep the Beat', providing vital defibs to fifty boxing gyms nationwide. The campaign, spearheaded by our ambassador April Hunter, is in conjunction with PGCPR.

Click to hear Dave and Zoe's story.....

Champ Backs ‘Keep the Beat’

Champ Backs 'Keep the Beat'

World champion boxer Savannah Marshall is backing a new campaign to save lives by providing vital defibrillators for boxing clubs.

Maverick Stars founder Charlotte Gilley, Savannah Marshall and April Hunter

‘Keep the Beat – Maverick’s Restart a Heart’ aims to raise awareness of CPR techniques along with donating 50 defibs to amateur gyms nationwide. The initiative is headed up by the charity’s ambassador April Hunter who lost her cousin and best friend Paul Gardner to cardiac arrest in 2018.

Middleweight titlist Savannah said: “I know many amateur clubs that just run on donations and funding; they don't even charge the boxers, so all these things help. They're [defibrillators] a lot of money so I can't imagine there'd be many clubs with the funding for their own. “

Sudden cardiac arrest in young people – including high-profile athletes – has increasingly been making headlines in recent years. Each year in the UK there are more than 30,000 ‘out-of-hospital’ cardiac arrests. The survival rate is less than one in ten. In some cases, performing CPR can more than double the chances of survival.

“To this day, I’ve really struggled with depression about him [Paul]. It’s a battle every day,” said April. “When Paul passed away, it could have been a simple thing of putting him on his side and clearing his airways and he might still be here today.”

Maverick Stars Trust is now committed to providing 50 defibrillators to amateur boxing clubs most in need. It will help meet the requirement that every England Boxing member club will need to have access to and know how to use a life-saving defibrillator by 1st June 2022.

Maverick Campaign for Boxing Club Defibs

Maverick Campaign for Boxing Club Defibs

Maverick Stars Trust has launched a nationwide initiative to provide vital defibrillators and CPR awareness for England Boxing member clubs. Sudden cardiac arrest in young people – including high-profile athletes – has increasingly been making headlines in recent years.

April Hunter

Helping to educate and enable people to act when an incident occurs is a cause close to the heart of Maverick ambassador April Hunter, whose family has established the charity PGCPR, which has set up a free app that assists in delivering CPR.

The Geordie boxer’s cousin, Paul Gardner, died on his 24th birthday while on holiday in 2018 and April has campaigned for better CPR awareness ever since.

“He (Paul) was in Ibiza with his friends and he got into difficulty in the water,” April explained. “He was the only one who knew CPR. He was still breathing; his heart was still beating when he was out of the water.

“Even if someone knew CPR, you never know, but it would have been nice if someone there had given him the best chance. I want to highlight the importance of CPR and defibs.”

April’s friend and training partner Savannah Marshall has also pledged her support to the Maverick Stars defib campaign. The middleweight world champion attended a recent meeting to launch the campaign alongside football legend and Maverick ambassador Shay Given.

Each year in the UK there are more than 30,000 ‘out-of-hospital’ cardiac arrests. The survival rate is less than one in 10. In some cases, performing CPR can more than double the chances of survival.

Maverick Stars Trust is now committed to providing 50 defibrillators to amateur boxing clubs most in need. It will help meet the requirement that every England Boxing member club will need to have access to and know how to use a life-saving defibrillator by 1st June 2022.

 

Time to Talk at Ricky’s Club

Time to Talks at Ricky's Club

A unique initiative encouraging men to get active and to talk through their issues has been launched at Elite Community boxing club in Bolton.

In partnership with Maverick Stars Trust, 'Ricky's Club' is named after Ricky Fletcher, a friend of Elite head coach Alex Matvienko, who took his own life. The sessions are available to anyone who feels they need someone to talk to or just to listen to. 

There were 5,224 suicides in the UK in 2020. "We just want to help anyone who is feeling isolated or those that maybe just need help in getting off the sofa and out of the house," Alex said. "Socialising is important, particularly as the pandemic continues to affect everyone."

The first Ricky's Club session takes place from 7.30pm, Tuesday, 21 December at Wordsworth Mill, Wordsworth St, Bolton BL1 3ND

Final Push for Timperley

Final Push for Timperley

Timperley ABC has launched a campaign to raise extra funds needed for a vital gym extension. Local MP Sir Graham Brady has thrown his weight behind the cause following years of red tape and rising costs.

It’s been four years of frustration for head coach Mark Davidson, who’s been working with Maverick Stars Trust founder Charlotte Gilley to secure the refurb which would allow more children from the Broomwood estate to train.

The tiny space can only accommodate 14 young boxers for each session and Mark has been forced to turn young people away and back onto the streets as a result. So far, with Maverick’s financial support, funding from sports bodies, club fundraising and local donations, Timperley ABC has managed to raise £450,000 for the extension. After overcoming planning and lease hurdles, the club has now been hit by increased building costs.

Sir Graham, MP for Altrincham and Sale West said: “It’s a very small space, a very crowded and tightly packed boxing gym. The club is achieving a huge amount. With the better facilities they’re working to raise money for, they can do so much more and I’m certainly happy to support that.”

The club is calling on local businesses or individuals to support this vital community hub and help raise the final funds it needs to complete the project. If you'd like to get involved, please contact: enquiries@maverickstars.co.uk

Bright Future for Female Coaches

Maverick Stars Trust is supporting ten female boxing coaches to deliver bespoke activities at their respective gyms. 

The latest initiative, where each coach receives £2,500 to create a programme based on their community’s specific needs, follows on from the residential weekend which took place at the home of GB Boxing in Sheffield earlier this year. Maverick Stars also supported that project – designed to help support and upskill female boxing coaches.

The coaches who took part in the residential course and have benefited from the extra Maverick funding, are:

Kate Newton – Rathbone (London), Igne Vaitkunaite – High Wycombe (Home Counties), Naadrah Hafeez – Gladiators (Yorkshire), Kara Mikolajczyk – Mikey’s (Midlands), Claire Salisbury – Jewellery Quarter (Midlands), Donna Harvey-Arnell – Ipswich (Eastern Counties), Louise Vidor – Bright Star (Midlands), Sally Webb – Priory Park (Midlands), Kerry Norfolk – Norwich City (Eastern Counties) and Samantha Fawcett – Warrington (Merseyside and Cheshire).

 

DJ’s Chance to Shine

DJ's Chance to Shine

Delicious Orie will take his place at the World Boxing Championships in Serbia alongside fighters from 105 countries. The GB super-heavyweight and Maverick Stars ambassador has been selected to take part in the tournament which starts in Belgrade on October 24.

DJ at South Wye ABC

It has been an eventful year for ‘DJ’ who travelled to Japan as chief sparring partner for eventual Olympic bronze medallist Frazer Clarke. The Wolverhampton fighter - born in Moscow to a Russian mother and Nigerian father – now has the chance to impose himself on the world scene.

“Having Big Frazier there and learning from him has been very, very valuable for me,” DJ explained. “Not just the Olympics but competing for GB in Lithuania and just the training and the GB life I’ve been having for the past year and a half. It’s led nicely to the Worlds.

“Qualification is just on a selection basis. If the Heads [coaches] at GB think you can medal and you’re good enough, then they’ll enter you for it at that weight class. I’m glad I’ve been given the opportunity and grateful that the coaches know I’m ready for it. All I have to do now is go in there and do it! It’s that easy!

“The whole aim really is to get the experience and to raise my profile and let the other boxers and the world know that I’m here, I’m working hard, I’m going to be here for a good few years as an amateur until the Olympics. This is like a good first entrance into the real, proper international world stage.”

For the first time, tournament organisers AIBA are putting up significant prize money with gold medalists in each category receiving $100,000, silver medalists $50,000, and both bronze medalists awarded $25,000.

“It’s a good little bonus, extra incentive to get up in the morning and train!” DJ laughed.

Along with his busy GB commitments, DJ also finds time to support Maverick Stars initiatives at South Wye ABC in Hereford.

“I’ve been trying to go down there every week. When I’m done here in Sheffield, I drive down to Hereford to support the kids. I wouldn’t call myself a coach, but I go there to give advice about boxing, not just the technical side, but how to cope with pressure of competitions, the diet, how to train, stuff like that. The coaches say I’m a positive role model and that’s the aim, what I’m trying to achieve.”

 

 

A Maverick Hunter

A Maverick Hunter

Geordie boxing prospect April Hunter has joined forces with Maverick Stars to spearhead a campaign to raise CPR awareness and provide vital defibrillators.

The unbeaten fighter joins the charity as ambassador and, along with continuing her success in the ring, is determined to succeed in highlighting a cause very close to her heart.  Her cousin Paul Gardner died on his 24th birthday whilst on holiday in 2018. The PGCPR app was set up in his name to raise funds to buy defibrillators for the North Shields area where Paul and April were born and raised.

"He [Paul] was in Ibiza with his friends and he got into difficulty in the water," April explained. "He was the only one who knew CPR. He was still breathing, his heart was still beating when he was out of the water but........even if someone knew CPR, you never know, but it would have been nice if someone there had given him the best chance.  I want to highlight the importance of CPR and defibs. It's something I want to do."

April will work with Maverick Stars while she continues in her quest for a world title. A talented footballer who was once on Newcastle's books, the 26year old fights in her home city on Saturday (16th October) on a bill which includes her friend Savanah Marshall, Chris Eubank Jr, and fellow Maverick Stars ambassador Brad Rea. All the action is live on Sky Sports.