When Mark Bleasdale heard about kickboxing sessions being offered though the YMCA in Great Yarmouth, he thought “why not give it a go” – so he did just that with surprising results.
Kickboxing as an activity has been introduced to residents in all YMCA Norfolk sites through funding received from Active Norfolk/Satellite Clubs and is delivered by coach Gary Brown who has a “can do” attitude.
When Mark attended his first session with Gary he found it really helped him find “a hunger to get back into the sport and the drive to have that edge.”
So much so that he attended nearly every week and realised he was actually quite good at the sport and wanted to keep going with it.
Mark said: “Gary is the best coach I have ever had because of the commitment he puts in to deliver the appropriate session. I trust him – he knows what he is on about.”
“The kickboxing sessions have really helped me feel less on edge, physically fitter and mentally more relaxed. I also do not feel the need to keep looking over my shoulder all the time,” he added.
Mark feels he has benefited so much from the help of YMCA staff with his kickboxing and his accommodation needs that he now wants to give something back.
He has high hopes of working with staff in Great Yarmouth to organise a kick boxing competition to raise money for the work of the YMCA. He also wants to involve other YMCA residents in the project so that they can gain valuable work experience and have something else to put on their CVS.
“Boxing is becoming a more popular sport of late and I really do believe that the YMCA should take advantage of opportunities for fundraising with myself, Gary and others. I personally believe it will be beneficial all round,” said Mark.
Mark is now continuing his boxing at a local boxing gym and is currently looking for grants to assist him in getting the equipment he needs to train.
Pictured above is Mark Bleasdale at the YMCA in Great Yarmouth.