Posted on 19th June 2014
Derbyshire Constabulary’s award-winning OzBox scheme has received top marks from school teachers after helping a student with one-to-one training.
James Ince, a year 11 pupil at Woodlands School, Allestree, started dedicated OzBox training to help him prepare for his GCSEs.
He became involved with the police boxing fitness scheme after speaking to his tutors about ways to build his confidence ahead of his exams.
OzBox trainer Mark Smith drew up a series of one-to-one sessions to help James get ready and ran them over several weeks.
These included a series of achievable fitness goals that were set over several weeks, with the pair working together to achieve them.
Now, James has become part of the team involved in delivering OzBox sessions to other pupils at his school.
James, 16, said: “When I was told that I was going to take part in OzBox, it was exciting because I really like to keep fit.
“I worked with Mark for a few weeks in one-to-one training and it’s a great way for me to talk to someone and make friends with them while keeping fit.
“I felt a lot better about myself and much more confident about my exams.”
Derbyshire police’s OzBox scheme involves non-contact boxing and fitness training that is free to young people aged 11 to 19.
The sessions are about having fun but they also teach young people to take pride in themselves and their community, allow them to meet new people and help build their confidence.
The team travel across the county and also host sessions at schools. One-to-one training can be arranged by teachers for pupils who feel they need a confidence boost.
The OzBox scheme at Woodlands School regularly attracts about 60 students and the feedback is always positive.
Elizabeth Charlton, deputy head of humanities at the school, helped set up the sessions for James.
She said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Mark and build a successful OzBox programme as part of our lessons.
“It’s an effective way to support our students and James was recommended to Mark because he was feeling out of his depth in preparation for his GCSEs.
“James is a very different young man to how he was only a few weeks ago and it’s because of his confidence. He stands taller and takes great pride in knowing and working with Mark.
“Several staff have commented on the clear impact OzBox has had and I’ll never be able to fully express my gratitude to Mark for the support he has provided.”
OzBox is delivered by more than 300 trained volunteers including police officers, PCSOs, youth workers, students, firefighters and members of the public.
All the equipment is provided and the sessions are free for young people, male and female, of all backgrounds and cultures to attend.