Boxer Leigh Wood inspires pupils at Leamington Primary & Nursery Academy in Sutton
Children at Leamington Primary & Nursery Academy in Sutton in Ashfield welcomed local boxing hero Leigh Wood into school to talk about his journey to boxing success.
As part of the school’s timetable, children receive lessons from ‘Active Minds’, a programme aimed at promoting children’s mental and physical health, delivered by Graeme Wheatley, a martial arts and boxing coach.
Graeme said, "We have been doing our ‘Wellbeing Warriors’ programme and after school club at Leamington for a few weeks and jumped at the chance to get Leigh in to talk to pupils about his journey. Leigh’s visit has been an inspiration to children, particularly following what has been such a difficult year for many. The discussions children have had with Leigh will enable them to process what is happening in their own lives and provide an inspirational story they can relate to.”
Current British featherweight title holder, Leigh Wood, grew up in Gedling and brought his story, and title belts to the school. He said, "It is nice to come into schools and speak to the children. I would have loved it if a boxer had visited my school when I was their age! We have talked about working hard and setting yourself goals. The children have asked me some really good questions, about why I originally started boxing and what my training is like.”
Leigh said he took up boxing after realising he wasn’t very good at football! "I truly believe it’s not where you start, its where you finish, if you work hard and believe in yourself you can achieve anything.”
Pupil Melody Butler age 9 said, "I asked Leigh how much the belts are worth and he said one was worth £13,000! I didn’t know anything about boxing before today so have learnt a lot.” Kayah Morland age 10 years said she asked if Leigh ever thinks about stopping. "I wanted to know if he ever got nervous and wanted to stop being a boxer. He said he did sometimes, but explained that no matter what you do you have to keep going and try hard. I think that is a very inspiring message.”
Thomas Bland age 10 years, along with another pupil had a running race against Leigh, and after a slightly delayed start for the boxer, Thomas made it to the finish line first. He said, "I am very glad I won! I have been practising and doing Park Run as well as football training. Sometimes like Leigh said, I find it difficult to get myself training, but once you get going you start enjoying it. It is good to know that he feels the same way sometimes!”
PE Lead at Leamington Primary & Nursery Academy is Oli Tatterson who said, "Leigh’s talk has really resonated as there are always times we need to get ourselves motivated. Hearing a professional has the same thoughts and feelings helps the children to recognise this is something we all face in our lives.
"It has been inspiring to hear Leigh talk to children, particularly about resilience which chimes with our school and Trust ethos, and Leigh is a prime example of someone who has succeeded through resilience and hard work. It has been amazing to have him visit the school.”