Boxing Stars Launch Fitness Scheme At NI Prison

Three successful boxers from Northern Ireland have united to launch a workout programme to improve student physical and mental health in Hydebank Wood College.

Paddy Barnes, Marc McCullough and Carly McNaul launched the six-week, non-contact programme for young men and women prisoners this week at Hydebank, a correctional facility for offenders aged between 18-21 and home to Northern Ireland's only female prison.

The scheme incorporates a range of structured workouts for all fitness types, including pad-work, stance, footwork, and other boxing techniques, with professional advice on diet and nutrition, mindfulness and mental health.

The sessions will be hosted by the Ulster Boxing Council and Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA), in partnership with the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

Director of Prisons at Hydebank Austin Treacy discussed the merits of boxing as a form of physical exercise: "This new programme with the Ulster and Irish Boxing bodies will be fast and fun and help us support the young men and women in our care.
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"In addition to building physical strength, boxing can help to make you feel more powerful mentally and give you the fighting spirit to deal with any of life's more challenging situations. Boxing can also instil a sense of achievement which builds confidence and self-esteem."

Olympic and Commonwealth gold medal winning boxer Paddy Barnes said: "Boxing has kept me on the straight and narrow. It's my life and has helped me greatly and made me the person I am today. I've made friends all around the world through boxing. Without boxing God knows where I would have ended up."

Ulster, Ireland and Commonwealth champion boxer and Olympic hopeful Carly McNaul was also keen to discuss the impact of boxing on her life. She said: "Going to a boxing club gave me something to focus on, a place to go to get away from bad choices in life and the wrong crowds. Now, 15 years later, I'm hoping to go to the Olympic Games."

Charlie Toland, Ulster Boxing Council, added: "If we can become a channel where young people walk through the door and not want to offend or take drugs, then ultimately this is what we hope to achieve."

Paddy Barnes discussed the boxing work-out programme in further detail in the video below:


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