In April 2016 the University of Hertfordshire (Herts Sports Partnership) was awarded £320,000 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund to deliver a three-year, countywide project titled Hertfordshire’s Big Hit (HBH). Additional funding has been provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner, the People’s Post Code Trust, Hertfordshire’s ten local authorities and the Hertfordshire County Council People’s Innovation fund. The total project funding is £437,476 over three years.

Using the sport of boxing, Hertfordshire’s Big Hit declared three key outcomes:

1) A reduction in reported incidents of antisocial behaviour in target locations

2) An improvement of the physical and mental wellbeing of participants

3) An improvement of the self-confidence and self-esteem of participants

The project officially started on 5th September 2016 following the employment of Bob Williams as a Social Inclusion Boxing Development Officer. Sessions are delivered in local boxing clubs and community venues through Box Cleva; a charity which has a strong track record in this type of work, and established links with deliverers across the county. Now in its third and final year of the initial funding period, the programme regularly engages with over 200 young people each week, across 11 weekly sessions, in 10 venues, across the county.

Club and Workforce Development is an additional element of the project that working to produce a Hertfordshire-wide, and individual district boxing development plans.

For full details, including location and contact details, please visit the Box Cleva website.

Year 2 (2017-18) Evaluation

Building on the fantastic results seen in Hertfordshire’s Big Hit’s first year, the second year was just as successful showing the following results:

482 young people engaged with the programme with a total of 6390 attendances across the year. There was a reduction in reported ASB incidents in 8 of the 10 delivery locations and the participants physical and mental wellbeing scores maintained very high throughout the year.

Watch below for a video on the impact of the project to date.

Parent testimonial for young boxer at Letchworth Box Cleva 2018:
“I want to say thank you to all at Boxcleva for helping change my son’s life.

Before he started boxing he was very anxious and found it very difficult to express how he felt. He would get very angry for little things. This was due to being bullied at school not just by his peers but also his teachers.

After a traumatic experience at school he was not given the opportunity to express himself verbally, if he tried he was told off and punished by his teacher, he had to sit indoors at break times. He became withdrawn and moody. 

Since coming to boxing he has grown in confidence and doesn’t find expressing himself such a challenge. He will express how he is feeling instead of having outbursts of angry tantrums.  He has learned that he is not alone, that other children have been bullied too and been able to overcome it. He has forged good friendships too.

He enjoys his weekly boxing because he learns many things each week such as nutrition, how to be accepting of others and exercise.”

Full details of the Year 2 evaluation, including further testimonials, can be found here.

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

Will Slemmings
T: 01707 283249