Since 2016 the Herts Sports Partnership (HSP) has led the Hertfordshire’s Big Hit (HBH) project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF). The project, which is delivered by the Box Cleva charity, is aimed at improving the lives of young people aged 7-15 within Hertfordshire who are considered to be vulnerable, or at risk. It use boxing as the vehicle to engage some of the most challenging and disadvantaged young people in the county’s most deprived areas.

After a long application process we are happy to report that as of 2020 the projects have been refunded to continue in Hertfordshire with HSP and Box Cleva working in joint partnership with the view to make the programme self-sustained by 2024.


About Box Cleva

Box Cleva is an award winning (Queens Award for Voluntary Service – QAVS) registered charity based in Hertfordshire. Founded in 2010 through funding from the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue service (, today the charity delivers across Hertfordshire and has received multiple awards from local authorities. Gaining full registered charity status in April 2015, Box Cleva function for the purpose of delivering educational and sporting initiatives using non-contact boxing.

The Box Cleva mission is ‘to promote community cohesion and crime reduction, whilst actively engaging with young people in promoting healthy lifestyles, constructive pursuits and sporting activity, for the benefit of both the young people and society at large.’

The sessions

Each weekly session last 1.5 hours and instils discipline, respect, perseverance, fair-play and fitness, within a safe and controlled environment. This includes one hour of non-contact physical activity involving: warm-up, stretching, skipping, pad work, bag work, shadow boxing, exercises and warm-down.  These sessions give the children an outlet for excess energy as well as a sense of purpose and belonging in the physical goals they work to achieve together as a team. They are delivered by some of the very best trainers in the country, who are all fully qualified by the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABA) and have an enhanced DBS check, as well as holding first aid and safeguarding certificates.

In addition to the physical activity each session has a 30-minute educational session covering areas such as: healthy eating, childhood obesity, health and safety, the risks of substance misuse, the dangers of carrying weapons and community awareness. These sessions are supported by bespoke Hertfordshire’s Big Hit educational workbooks that each participant takes home.

At the end of each year HSP hosts a Celebration Day at the University of Hertfordshire. This event gives all participants an opportunity to demonstrate the skills they have learnt and receive an award in recognition of their achievements throughout the year. The intention is also that creating a positive experience of the university may also raise future educational aspirations for the young participants and their families.

Intended outcomes

  1. An improvement of the physical and mental wellbeing of participants
  2. An improvement of the self-confidence and self-efficacy of participants
  3. Encouraging positive early pro-social behaviour in participants

Locations

LocationAddressPostcode
Brookside Boys ClubBorehamwoodWD4 4HN
Cheshunt Amateur Boxing ClubAlbury RideEN8 8XG
St Albans and London Colney Amateur Boxing ClubToulmin DriveAL3 6EG
Watford Amateur Boxing ClubHorseshoe LaneWD25 7HH
Welwyn Garden City Amateur Boxing ClubHollybush LaneAL7 4NZ
Hemel Hempstead Amateur Boxing ClubQueens SquareHP2 4EW
Stevenage Amateur Boxing ClubThe Noke SideSG2 8EY
Woodhall SchoolWoodhall LaneWD19 6QX
Sele SchoolWelwyn RoadSG14 2DG
Jackmans Community CentreIvel CourtSG6 2NL

Parent feedback

‘Henry has without doubt gained confidence since attending Box Cleva. He is excited each Monday to attend and has made new friends. The classes are more than boxing, the kids are also taught manners and patience as well as discipline.’ Mother

‘Since starting Box Cleva David has become a lot more interested in keeping fit and trying to eat a healthier diet. He participates in other sports/clubs but Box Cleva is the one he talks about the most, he even practices his skipping and spring at home! The coaches are brilliant wit the children and teach them discipline that no other sport can. The class is hard but the coaches make it a fun work out and the children thoroughly enjoy it!’ Mother

Boxing Coach feedback

‘Bradley is a boy that has been with us from the very beginning of the Box Cleva initiative. When he first walked in our doors, his mother told us about his behaviour at school. Fighting, lacking in concentration and often being excluded from lessons and even school. Being involved in the Box Cleva project has had a positive effect on Bradley’s behaviour. He has calmed down and is focusing much better at school. He is now become one of our full-time boxers and has now won two national schoolboy championships. Without Box Cleva, I doubt Bradley would have achieved so much!’  Hemel Hempstead Box Cleva Coach

(Please note that children’s names have been altered for child protection reasons)

For more information about Hertfordshire’s Big Hit please contact:

Will Slemmings
E: w.slemmings@herts.ac.uk
T: 01707 283249