Boxing champions knock-out support for Hydebank students

Date published: 12 November 2019

Boxing champions Paddy Barnes, Marc McCullough and Carly McNaul launched a new boxing work-out programme at Hydebank Wood College to help students’ improve their fitness and mental health.

A new boxing work-out programme has been launched at Hydebank Wood College to help improve students’ fitness and mental health.
Olympic and Commonwealth Boxer Paddy Barnes, Northern Irish super-featherweight boxer Marco McCullough, and Ulster, Ireland and Commonwealth Women’s Boxing champion Carly McNaul, are pictured with Austin Treacy, Director of Prisons, Gary Milling, Governor

The six-week, non-contact boxing course for young men and female prisoners will be hosted by the Ulster Boxing Council and Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) in partnership with the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

Structured workouts for all fitness abilities will include pad-work, stance, footwork, and other boxing techniques, with professional advice on diet and nutrition, mindfulness and mental health.

Austin Treacy, Director of Prisons, said: “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.

“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 Carly McNaul 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.”

Learn more about the boxing work-out programme at Hydebank Wood College by clicking on the following links:

Paddy Barnes ;

Carly McNaul;

Charlie Toland

Notes to editors: 

  1. Hydebank Wood College which has a focus on education, learning and employment, accommodates young people between the ages of 18 and 21. It also accommodates female remand and sentenced prisoners in Ash House, a house block within the complex.
  2. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department's internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department's Privacy Policy is available on our website.
  3. Press queries about this publication should be directed to the DoJ Press Office on telephone number 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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