Chichester College student Xavier Southerton has become one of the youngest level-one ABAE assistant boxing coaches in the country.
Southerton boxes and coaches at St Gerards Amateur Boxing Club in Chichester and is studying a level three diploma in sport science at the college.
He has been boxing for five years at St Gerards under the supervision of former England boxer and coach Gerry Lavelle.
The qualification is the first step on the boxing coaching ladder and allows him to work with boxers in the gym at the Swanfield Community Centre and coach from their corner during bouts.
Southerton said: “Gerry suggested I should look at coaching while I continue to box. It’s my opportunity to give something back to the sport as boxing has always been there for me and has helped me through some tough times. The sport is good at giving young people a focus and teaches them to be disciplined.
“My course at the college has helped me with the qualification because there were some first-aid elements which we have already covered in the classroom. I’m looking forward to learning more at the club from Gerry and the other coaches.”
Lavelle said: “Xavier has been doing bits of coaching at the club with the boxers and his opinions are respected by the older members of the club. He is the sort of lad who is a coach of the future and could one day take over the St Gerards gym. In a couple of years, I have no doubt he will be more than capable of becoming an advanced coach.”
The course ran at Rumbles Gym in Kent and included practical and theory modules. This meant Southerton was travelling to Kent from his home in Bognor on Saturdays and Sundays.
Funding for the course was generated by the Rotary Club of Chichester Priory, who raised the money to pay for his qualification through the sponsorship of the St Gerards black-tie dinner and boxing event at Westgate Leisure Centre in January.
The event goes ahead again this year on January 26 at Westgate Leisure and tickets are available at £50 each on a table of ten, including a four-course meal.
There will also be an area for around 100 standing supporters - entry will be strictly by ticket only. Local businesses can get involved by advertising in the programme or sponsoring some of the contests. All enquiries, including ticket sales, should go to Ray Richardson on 01243 543701 or firstname.lastname@example.org