A men's mental health initiative set up in memory of a Bolton boxing coach has proved a huge success.

Based at the Elite Boxing Gym in Halliwell, 'Ricky's Club' was launched with support from Maverick Stars Trust in December 2021. Named after Ricky Fletcher, who committed suicide after battling mental health issues, the project is the brainchild of head coach Alex Matvienko.

"He [Ricky] was a boxing coach here and an ex-addict. We rehabilitated him, he dropped a lot of weight and turned his life around. He did his ABA course and so on, but then he just sort of lost his way a bit, felt a bit lost and took his own life about nine years ago.”

“This [Ricky’s Club] was always an idea I had, but I didn’t have the team or the facilities to put it on. I’ve always been passionate about it, but come nine years later Charlotte from Maverick said, ‘let’s do it.’ We started this pilot last December and it’s been pretty incredible really.”

The free sessions encourage men from all walks of life to chat about any issues that may be affecting them. Whether struggling with addiction, depression or without any apparent issues, all are welcome to attend the group.

Ricky's Club is held at Elite Boxing, Wordsworth Mill, Wordsworth Street, Bolton. Sessions take place every other Tuesday at 7.30pm.

For more information: www.eliteboxing.co.uk     @eliteboxer    01204 493 563

Speaking Up for Ricky