Lomas joins the team

Lomas joins the team

Maverick Stars Trust is delighted to welcome actor Jamie Lomas to our team of ambassadors.

Lomas joins the team following his recent short film 'Lead Belly', where he plays an ex-soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder whilst living on the streets.

The film aims to raise awareness about the struggles homeless veterans face once they are integrated back into society.

Famous for his role in Hollyoaks and an impressive stint as runner-up on 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!', Jamie will be spearheading 'Operation Warrior', aimed at helping armed forces veterans.

The initiative proved a success upon its launch at Gemini ABC in Liverpool, with veterans taking part in an eight-week programme featuring boxing sessions, team building days, guest speakers and a mental health first aid course.

Man of the People

Man of the People

He's preparing for the biggest night of his boxing career, but Jazza Dickens is still helping others less fortunate in his home city. The affable Liverpudlian takes on Ryan Walsh in the 'Golden Contract' final with the carrot of a lucrative two-year, five-fight deal up for grabs for the winner.

"It's life-changing," Jazza said with a grin. "More than life-changing! It'll put me in a position I've never been in before. It'll put my family in a position they've never been in before. All the sacrifices made - I'm doing it for them, as much as for me and for my community."

Community is a word Jazza mentions often, although his work helping others goes largely goes under the radar. He's currently working on an initiative with Maverick Stars to help families affected by addiction - a subject close to his heart owing to his father's drug addiction and subsequent recovery.

"We need to bring back our communities," Jazza said. "Like the work you're doing at Maverick [Stars], it's amazing work and I'd encourage anyone to try and pick their community up, to get involved because so many things come from it."

Jazza is currently sporting a 'Mo' as part of Movember and all donations will go to the Sisters of Mercy who feed and clothe the homeless in Liverpool city centre. If Jazza reaches his £5,000 target, the moustache will stay in place for the Walsh fight

Meanwhile, the likeable featherweight has been training meticulously for the fight of his life under the guidance of coaching team George Vaughan and Maverick Stars' very own Derry Mathews.  The 29 year-old faces a big challenge against Norfolk-based Walsh - a man he has great respect for - but he's convinced it will be his night under the lights when the pair meet at a tv studio in Wakefield.

"A lot of things make sense coming into this final - the amount of time it's took, the COVID situation. I feel like it's all fallen into place," Jazza added.

Help Jazza help the homeless - https://uk.gofundme.com/f/5000-and-the-muzzy-stays-for-the-fight

Fighting for the Homeless

Fighting for the Homeless

Derry Mathews has linked up with a homeless charity in Liverpool to provide free boxing sessions for young people.

The former champion, working in partnership with Maverick Stars, has joined forces with the AIMS project which helps 18 - 24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training, access specialised accommodation.

"I'm getting some of them involved in the sport and getting them in [the gym] twice a week," he said. "Hopefully I'm pushing them in the right direction and keeping them occupied and out of trouble.

"Maverick Stars are making sure they're well fed too. It's been brilliant working with Maverick and I look forward to working with them on other projects."

 

 

A Delicious Welcome to Maverick Stars

Maverick Stars Trust has added another big hitter to its roster of ambassadors in the shape of top amateur Delicious Orie.

The 23 year old, 6ft 6ins super-heavyweight is part of the GB Boxing set-up and has his sights set on glory - just like Anthony Joshua. The pair have led a similar path in coming to the sport late, and both share a steely determination to achieve their goals.

Born in Moscow to a Russian mother and Nigerian father, 'DJ' and his family moved to Wolverhampton when he was seven. After excelling in various sports, he started boxing while studying at university in Birmingham and learned his trade under coach Mick Maguire at the Jewellery Quarter Boxing Club.

DJ joins fellow GB star Conner Tudsbury in becoming a Maverick Stars ambassador. Like Conner, he's committed to working on Maverick's initiatives - mentoring and coaching the next generation.

"I really enjoy training with the kids," he said. "Getting them moving and motivated to train and making them see it's possible to achieve big things. It's all possible.

"It was difficult initially, coming over from Russia to a completely different environment. But, growing up, at the back of my mind I knew there were a lot of opportunities in England and you just have to work for whatever it is you want to achieve.

"That's something that I want to push to the younger generation. If I was able to do it - someone who didn't learn to speak English until he was eight, who graduated from university and has been able to get on Team GB - then with consistency and hard work anything is possible."

Plans For Operation Warrior

Plans For Operation Warrior

Due to the success of our inaugural veterans project on Merseyside, Maverick Stars Trust is set to launch ‘Operation Warrior’ in several other key regions.

The initiative has proved to be a big hit at Gemini ABC in Liverpool, with armed forces veterans taking part in an eight-week programme featuring boxing sessions, team building days, guest speakers and a mental health first aid course.

Maverick Stars has teamed up with Tom Harrison House – a specialist facility which provides an addiction recovery programme exclusively for veterans. Many encounter problems upon leaving the forces, with poor mental and physical health along with low self-confidence key among them.

Maverick Stars trustee Tony Gilley said: "As a veteran myself, this initiative is very important to me. We've had great attendance at each of the sessions we've delivered so far and everyone's really enjoyed themselves. It's vital we carry on growing this project to provide the support and opportunities for people that have served their country so selflessly."

Plans are now in place to open other key hubs once lockdown has eased. Operation Warrior will be launched in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and the North East in the New Year.

Food Community Hub Continues

Food Community Hub Continues

Despite half term coming to an end, Maverick Stars is committed to continue providing free meals for children and families in need.
 
To date, more than 50,000 families nationwide have been fed since the start of the first lockdown.
 
'The 'Fit and Fed' and 'Holiday Hunger' programmes have proved a huge success as part of the Maverick Stars 'Food Community Hub' initiative. With the second lockdown now upon us, more families will need our assistance.
 
"We will continue with our food programmes for as long as we need to," explained Maverick Stars founder Charlotte Gilley. "It's been rewarding to see the success of our initiatives although obviously we'd rather families weren't in need in what is such a testing time for so many."
 
Pictured: Gemini ABC in Liverpool over half term
Children between the ages of five and 15 were able to attend a one hour boxing session every day, followed by a free launch.
 
Elsewhere, Jennings Gym in Lancashire have been working with Maverick Stars and Bees Country Kitchen to provide food daily for children in Chorley.
 
The meal pack contains a full adult size meal and a cake/fruit, complying with school nutrition guidelines.

Sting Like a Bee – For Burnley

Sting Like a Bee - For Burnley

Maverick Stars is continuing to punch above its weight with a move into the Premier League!

The charity has joined forces with Burnley FC in the Community (BFCitC) to launch its 'Sting Like a Bee' initiative. Funded by Maverick Stars Trust, young people participating in  ‘Sting Like A Bee’ will benefit from boxing training, along with leadership courses and employment opportunities.

The project will complement BFCitC’s ‘It’s Your Turf’  Premier League Kicks Targeted programme which breaks the cycle of youth violence within communities. BFCitC delivers more than 50 community programmes, helping people of all ages and backgrounds in Burnley and the surrounding area.

Ged Byrne, BFCitC Youth Crime Reduction Manager said: "It's fantastic to link up with Maverick Stars - a charity we know all about due to the work they do throughout boxing.

"We'll be working to get young people referred to the 'Sting Like a Bee' programme through our partners at Social Care, Youth Offending Team, Police Early Action and local schools. This is the start of a great collaboration!"

The ‘Sting Like a Bee’ project will be based out of 5-Ways Boxing Academy in Burnley,

"Like many towns, we have our problems in Burnley but projects like this are vital in helping guide our young people down the right road," said Head Coach Kevin Dand. "Anyone that's ever stepped in a boxing club will tell you what a positive environment it is.

"Along with helping kids get fit and healthy, it's great that we will be able to offer opportunities like doing coaching badges and first aid courses."

Big Honour For Vince

Maverick Stars Trust would like to congratulate our friend and colleague Vince McNally on his MBE for services to the community in Hereford.

Head coach at South Wye Police Boxing Academy, Vince has delivered several of our 'Fit and Fed' programmes from his gym and has helped change the lives of hundreds of young people since opening the club in 2005. Vince's achievements are featured in this week's Boxing News.

"It's very touching," he told the magazine. "I'm a boxing coach because I love it and to get an MBE for doing something I love is unbelievable."

 

New Project Brewing Nicely For Hatton

New Project Brewing Nicely for Hatton

Matthew Hatton is the latest stellar name to join forces with Maverick Stars. The former European welterweight champion is set to deliver the 'Sting Like a Bee' initiative from his Stockport gym.

After a long and successful professional career, Matt moved into coaching and currently trains super-lightweight Luke Evans and cruiserweight Damian Chambers. Along with his professional commitments, Matt has been involved in an anti-crime project - an area of work he now wants to develop in tandem with Maverick Stars.

"I've been in the gym three years now, Matthew explained, We've been doing a Friday session for some time now with kids who've been getting involved in knife crime. The difference we see in these kids , with a bit of structure,  is fantastic. It's something I really enjoy doing and really look forward to.

"It's a challenge, but I think when you get them in the boxing gym I do see a change. There's a bit of respect there and discipline is taught from day one. It's something you try and instil in the kids. Some of them are craving it [discipline] but they don't have it at home unfortunately. If we can bring a bit of that to them in the boxing gym, teach them new skills, looking out for themselves in the ring and outside too.

The 'Sting Like a Bee' initiative, funded by Maverick Stars, helps to tackle anti-social behaviour by providing young people at risk of crime with free boxing training, life skills and employment opportunities. With gyms closed during lockdown, delivery of the initiative was obviously affected. It's now back up and running throughout Greater Manchester and other parts of the country.

Matt, who trained and competed alongside his world champion brother Ricky, is adamant any further COVID restrictions would be disastrous.

"It's difficult times at the minute with restrictions, but mental health is such an important thing," he said. "People seem to thing it's only [affecting] the adults, but it's the kids as well. Keeping the gyms open - and I'm biased of course - but I think it's so, so important.

"I love a pint! It's been well documented that me and our kid love a pint! But nobody needs a pub. People need the gym, they really do."

After showing Maverick Stars around his gym situated in Pear New Mill in Bredbury, it was time to reflect on his career to date and the next chapter - with a brew of course.

"Some boxers struggle after boxing but I had a great career, every step of the way. I always had one eye on coaching and doing various things connected with the boxing. Boxing's been very good to me. I gave a hell of a lot to boxing and it's been very good to me and still is to this day."

New Home For Crolla’s Club

New Home For Crolla's Club

Anthony Crolla has finally found a new home for his amateur club after fire destroyed its former building.

Working in partnership with Maverick Stars, the new Fox ABC is taking shape within the clubhouse of AVRO Football Club in Limeside, near Oldham.  It's been a frustrating search for a new property since the fire rendered the club homeless in March. But now, the former WBA lightweight world champion is delighted that young people will soon have a new gym to head to.

"It's a great location on the estate," Anthony said. "it's a great location for a boxing gym. There'll be a lot of kids that'll get great use out of it. There are classroom facilities which we can use for some of the kids in the area - honestly, I can't wait for it. With the backing of Maverick Stars as well, I'm really excited for the future."

It's nearly a year since Anthony retired from the ring to concentrate on the next chapter of his career as a boxing coach. He's also managed to find time to help out with the refurbishment of the room which will house the new gym - although someone should probably take the heavy tools off him!

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