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Lynes helps local lads learn important lessons

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 May 2017

Colin Lynes faces the camera at Hornchurch & Elm Park Boxing Club with pupils from the Olive Academy and teacher Lisa Wilson

Colin Lynes faces the camera at Hornchurch & Elm Park Boxing Club with pupils from the Olive Academy and teacher Lisa Wilson

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Hornchurch & Elm Park club hosts sessions for pupils

Colin Lynes has been taking time out from preparing for his 50th professional fight to give some valuable lessons to local schoolboys.

Hornchurch father-of-five Lynes, 39, is due to fight on the MTK Promotion at Brentwood Arena on May 19 and visited key stage three pupils at Olive Academy recently, taking along some gloves and skipping rope, to talk to them about his own experiences and also run a session.

And he has also been hosting small groups at the Hornchurch & Elm Park club, where he honed his own skills as an amateur at the start of his career.

On the Friday morning when I visited the gym in Kilmartin Way, Lynes was working with year 10 pupils Buster, Dean and Amal and looking like a natural for a possible coaching career when he eventually hangs up his gloves.

He said: “I get lots out of it. There’s a satisfaction seeing the children that you can’t express.

“Youth clubs have been taken away for political reasons and red tape and these clubs are few and far between.

“It’s a case of getting them involved in some physical activity.

“It’s needs to be entertaining, so they can learn new skills. They’re not all going to become boxers, I won’t push them.

“But if it helps them focus and become disciplined, they can find a comfortability and consistency and feel better from it and help organise their day.

“We wake up every day not fancying our job, but I try to life coach and mentor them to get involved.”

The boys certainly appeared to enjoy the chance to get out of the classroom and learn some tips from a professional boxer.

Buster was straight into the action, completing a warm-up with Lynes and then attacking the bags hanging from the ceiling and working on the pads in the ring under the watchful eye of Lynes.

He said: “It’s good to come and take your anger out, Colin helps a lot.

“You can lose your temper on the bag, instead of hurting someone else. You can come here and let yourself out.”

Dean also got involved in the session and added: “It’s very good to get away from school for a little bit.”

Amal was happy to watch his classmates on this occasion, but said: “Boxing is a good way of getting rid of aggression.”

Teacher Lisa Wilson was also grateful for the help given by Lynes, adding: “It’s so important to work with professionals and Colin relates so well with the boys, talking to them about making the most of life.

“He is very good at talking to the pupils and mentoring them. And Gary, our taxi driver from Hornchurch Mini Cabs, is also very good and patient with the pupils.”

It was only a short 45-minute visit, but heartening to see the work being done by Lynes, who is hoping to help the club return to some of its former glories.

The building could do with a bit of a makeover, but Lynes spoke enthusiastically about a new era, adding: “Hornchurch & Elm Park has always been very community focused. You don’t have to be a boxer to come down and see how you go.

“It’s a disciplined group, with respect for one another. Boxing is the best sport for that, you realise what it takes when you’re having a hard session next to someone else.

“We’re open every night but classes are full at the moment, from the ankle biters up.

“We hope to put shows on again long-term and take boys to other shows, we’ve got three or four who are carded now.”

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