Tag Archives: fighting

Unite for Africa: Blog #3 Zumar Dean starts to see results

Motivation comes in all shapes and sizes and for 30-year old recruitment consultant, Zumar Dean, dropping a few pounds and getting into better shape physically are his goals for stepping into the ring on November 30, for the Unite for Africa, white collar charity boxing event.

Zumar runs his own recruitment agency, Just Digital focuses on finding the best digital sales and marketing experts for a whole host of businesses big and small. His company works from the gloriously designed TOG (The Office Group) buildings, which suits his contemporary working practices perfectly. “We don’t have any formal working hours, we’re completely flexible – you have to be when you’re on the look out for the best in the business,” comments Zumar.

Being his own boss has meant that Zumar has been able to fit the 10 weeks of training into his busy schedule without too much conflict. However, Zumar has struggled to commit to a regular form of exercise since his school days when he was a regular on the football pitch – it was the commitment that was going to be his real challenge.

Working in the TOG offices meant there was easy access to the Work-it gyms so there was no excuse. Before signing up to the November 30 event, Zumar had already sampled some of the sessions at the gym and so was confident he’d love the more intensive three-month training schedule, he also enlisted the help of a friend so they could spur each other on. With less than a month to go, he says that the results are starting to show. “My focus was to lose weight and people are telling me that they can already see the difference. But it’s not just the weight, I feel fitter, I feel great. I’ve gone from getting totally out of breath to enjoying five good work-out sessions a week – I can feel a massive difference in myself,” says Zumar.

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Weekends are boxing free zones, aside from a swim on a Sunday the weekends are devoted to time with his girlfriend who already has a ticket and plans to be his biggest supporter on the night.   She knows more than anyone the effort and sacrifices her man has made to master the skills required to enter the boxing ring.

If you want to join Zumar’s friends and family in supporting Unite for Africa and also see the results of a grueling 10 weeks of training you can buy tickets here. All monies raised are for a struggling medical centre in Kinshasa and the renovation of the crumbling infrastructure at the Masika Centre, an orphanage set up for victims of rape, abuse and displacement in the Democratic republic of the Congo. So far we have raised over £30,000 and will continue to do so up to fight night. Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/uniteforafrica

Written by Sue Finnegan

Unite for Africa: Blog #2 How does she do it?

Twenty-eight year old Gemma Simmons likes to keep busy. As well as working for The Office Group (TOG) as one of their community managers, a role which entails looking after nine of their buildings across London, Gemma volunteers, works out and has signed up to compete in the ‘Unite for Africa’, white collar-boxing event on November 30.  Phew!

Gemma’s days are long – at 6.30am you might find her at one of Morning Gloryville’s sober early morning raves in east London, she cycles approximately ten miles each day visiting the TOG offices in her remit, as well as organising ‘after hours’ events for the businesses and co workers who are part of her community. In spite of all of this, she is a self-confessed volunteer junky. In February she headed to Greece to help the refugees landing on some of the smaller islands off its coast, she is a regular volunteer for Calais Action helping with their backpack appeal and she’s a ‘love pixie’, selling love specs for a Malawian charity Love Support Unite.

Supporting charities is one of the reasons that Gemma has signed up to Unite for Africa, a night of white-collar boxing raising money for a hospital and orphanage in Africa. She was unable to take part in the first boxing event that TOG co-hosted as she was out of town – although she was not there in body, she certainly was in spirit as she watched the first round of her friend and colleague Amnita’s fight via FaceTime from New York.   What Amnita achieved has inspired and pushed Gemma to have a go herself. She claims that it will be a massive personal challenge to get into the ring, to keep up the ten weeks of training and to try and win on the night but she knows that it’s all for a fantastic cause.

Fitting all of the training into Gemma’s already packed schedule will be the biggest challenge in the next few weeks as TOG has just undergone a massive rebrand and to help communicate this, Gemma is involved with more events than usual. Her days will be longer but she still intends to take part in the twice weekly intensive group boxing sessions, the two fitness classes that she loves as well as one-to-ones with Ben Wood her boxing coach. She feels that if she can keep everything on track over these next three weeks then she’s cleared a major hurdle.

I do wonder just how she does it all – she claims it’s simple, “I love routine so I just need to build myself a little routine and I’ll be fine. I’m learning so much in the group and one-to-one boxing sessions but most of all I’m sharing this experience with an amazing group of people.”

If you want to see the fruit of Gemma’s hard training – click here to buy a ticket or if you want to donate to Unite for Africa click on https://www.gofundme.com/uniteforafrica

Written by Susan Finnegan.

Unite for Africa: Blog #1 Chaka’s motivation

Chaka’s motivation

In life there are givers and takers and Chaka Clarke has both feet planted firmly in the giving camp.

While the rest of us absorb the daily news and ponder the plight of our great planet, Chaka absorbs and acts. It is this action that is driving the next night of Work-it’s white-collar boxing co-hosted by Chaka’s team Spartanfam. The night is titled Unite for Africa and will raise money for a struggling medical centre in Kinshasa and renovate the crumbling infrastructure of the Masika Centre, an orphanage set up by and for victims of rape, abuse and displacement.

Chaka will be competing in the Unite for Africa event on November 30th as he did earlier in the year. For many taking part, the motivation to enter into these contests includes improving fitness, losing weight or having ‘a once in a lifetime’ experience. All are admirable motivations and all require discipline to reach those goals over the ten weeks of required training. Chaka’s motivation however, is the Masika Centre in the Congo. He first heard of Rebecca Masika Katsuva a few years back when one of his friends showed him a video of the story of her traumatic rape at the hands of rebel soldiers and her truly inspiring response. He realised that as the soldiers used rape as a weapon of war to destroy the lives of many, Masika’s retaliation was love and humanity to help rebuild those shattered lives. He too would pick that same ammunition and do his bit to fight the injustice.

Battle of Camden

Like many who hear the story, Chaka was moved by it – but in true Chaka style he was moved to act. Having visited the orphanage on several occasions, Chaka has used his massive social media following and these boxing events to put the focus back on Masika’s Orphanage and to raise money for it to make it stronger each day that it’s open.  At Work-it’s first fight night in May this year, Chaka raised a mighty £10,000; his goal this time around is £30,000. In just five days of fund raising in the last week, Chaka with the help of Work-it has raised a staggering £17,000 – a massive thanks to everyone that’s dipped into his or her pockets so far.

Chaka doesn’t just focus on Africa, he puts his many talents to use in West London too. As a busy personal trainer he still finds time through his company Spartanfam to offer free community based fitness. From personal experience he knows the perils of the streets and so seeks to give kids and youths a reason to get active, to find a sense of purpose and pride in oneself and above all else find some enjoyment.

Unite for Africa is just under eight weeks away, it will be a busy time for Chaka and all of the other athletes involved. Over the coming weeks we aim to tell the stories of some of the fighters who have decided to glove up for charity. All will be taking part in two tough group training sessions a week as well as working on their own fitness or boxing development alongside holding down jobs and not forgetting family and social commitments. It is a massive undertaking for anyone taking part.

If you’re not one of the fighters but want to help, all you need to do is dip in your pocket as even £1 will make a difference, or instead of a visit to Starbucks sacrifice a morning coffee and donate the money – really every little act helps make it one big action. Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you want to donate – click on https://www.gofundme.com/uniteforafrica it’s worth a visit, the picture alone will melt your heart!

For tickets click here: https://billetto.co.uk/fight-night-unite-for-africa

I heart Africa foundation: http://iheartafrica.org/

Written by Sue Finnegan.

 

 

How to Wrap

 

You may have seen people wrapping a strange bandage around their wrist and knuckles before a boxing class and wonder, what are they doing?  Are they a pro fighter? Wrapping hands in Boxing is a must.  Pro fighters essentially make a living from their hands so they have to be protected. Whether you are a pro fighter, or seasoned class goer, wrapping hands is equally as important.

The hand is made of many tiny bones and joints.  Punching with loose hands or with improper accuracy can easily cause injuries.  A hand wrap provides support for fingers, thumb, knuckles and wrists, while securing everything together so the shock of hitting is evenly distributed. It is also more hygienic if you don’t have your own gloves!

There are many ways to wrap hands, it is merely down to preference but here is a guide to help!

Step 1 : Put the loop on the thumb and wrap a few times around the wrist

Step 2 : Individually wrap the thumb

Step 3 : Individually wrap the knuckles

Step 4 : Go over the individual knuckle wraps, and make sure they are secured in place

Step 5 : Use the rest of the wrap on whatever needs it most, the knuckles, wrist or thumb

Step 6 : Secure with velcro and you are good to go!

Hand wrapping tips:

  • Circulation : If you cant feel your hand after 5-10 mins or if your fingers go red or numb you know you’ve gone too tight.
  • Flexibility : You need to be able to open your hand and also make a fist.
  • Knuckles or wrist?  Some people like to wrap more around the knuckles, some more around the wrist.  Do what feels good for you.
  • Rituals : Use it as a class ritual.  It’s a great way to get your mind on the class and Boxing.

Now your hands are wrapped and you’re feeling more like a pro…Join a class and dont forget to try our workout of the month