Saying thank you to our volunteers in sport

June 2, 2021

Volunteers play a vital role in Guernsey sport and this week is National Volunteers Week – a time to recognise and thank volunteers.

Throughout the week the Guernsey Sports Commission will be acknowledging and celebrating just a few of the amazing people who give up their time and share their experience for the benefit of sport.

Nathan Jones has been a volunteer boxing coach for over six years, specialising in coaching eight to 17-year-olds at the Amalgamated Boxing Club.

‘When I was ten, I did a bit of boxing myself during my schoolboy times but knocked that on the head when I was around 20,’ said Nathan.

‘I then had a big gap until I was about 36 then came back to lose a bit of weight and then ended up getting involved in coaching the juniors.

‘Boxing was a big part of my life. Back in those days it was a St Martin’s thing to do. We all went to St Martin’s School and then you would come here afterwards. I enjoyed it and it did a lot for me and as I got older, I thought that I wanted to give something back.’

Mandy Wickenden from the Boxing Club says Nathan has created a real family feel.

‘Nathan is fantastic with the children and has the ability to engage with them and encourage them to join in the many boxing themed games he comes up with,’ said Mandy.

‘His aim is for the children to enjoy the sport; it doesn’t matter whether they compete or not. He wants children to get active and off the sofa!

‘He has the ability to switch from the fun activities with the minis to more technical work with the older children, but still makes it enjoyable.’

Nathan believes that boxing is a great way to boost children and young people’s confidence.

‘You tend to get some of them with confidence issues who have struggled and boxing actually seems to help. There’s a notable change if they stick at it,’ said Nathan.

‘Obviously, there’s the fitness aspect but a lot of it is to get them a bit of confidence, tell them they are good at something every now and then and hopefully we get fighters at the end of it. That’s ultimately what we want, but that’s not everything. We want them to carry on with the sport but if they don’t, it’s about giving them a bit of fun.

‘With boxing there is always a loser but actually I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing to learn. When you do start fighting there’s only two of you getting in there and only one of you is going to come out a winner.’

Nathan would encourage anyone to volunteer in sport.

‘Just give it a go, don’t be scared. Just come along; we’re all really friendly!’

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