A MOTIVATED boxer at a beloved century-old youth club exceeded all expectations when he ran a half-marathon to raise funds for new life-saving equipment.
Owen Batchelor, a member of the Rugby Boxing Academy at the Bradby Club for Young People, smashed both his target time and fund-raising objective when he ran the Leicestershire Half Marathon to raise money for a defibrillator at the club’s East Union Street HQ.
He finished the race in 1 hour 32 minutes, 13 minutes faster than he was aiming for, and has so far raised £800 – exceeding the fund-raising appeal’s target by £300.
Owen, a teaching assistant at Eastlands Primary School, had never run a marathon before.
He told The Observer: “I chose to fund-raise this way as I enjoy running as part of my training for boxing, and I wanted to have a goal myself to aim for as well and raising much-needed funds for the defibrillator.
“I prepared by running six times a week and using my normal boxing training for additional fitness. It has been difficult, but worth it for the cause.
“I really enjoyed the run and I exceeded my expectations. I felt very tired and my legs just wanted to rest – but I really enjoyed the challenge.
“All my boxing team, family, friends and work colleagues have all been very supportive – especially my mum, girlfriend and the Bradby Club who helped me organise the run and made sure everything went ahead as planned.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to all of them for all the support and help in order for the money to be raised – it’s been a great thing to be part of.”
A spokesperson for the Bradby Club said the new defibrillator was a new requirement from England Boxing which would ensure Rugby Boxing Academy remained affiliated and all participants were protected and could continue to compete.
They added: “It will also safeguard all young people and participants who access a range of sporting and recreational opportunities and activities at the Bradby Club.
“We also aim to make the defibrillator accessible to the local community network of defibrillators, and contribute to ensuring this life-saving equipment is available should it be needed.
“It will literally save lives and protect the community against sudden cardiac arrest.”
The Bradby Club, which has been working with young people in Rugby for 102 years, had to abandon many of its usual money-spinning events during the pandemic. Its open-access evenings provide a safe centre for young people aged 8-25, with sport, cookery, residential courses and more. Professional youth workers offer informal education in safe relationships and substance misuse in schools and other clubs. Bradby won a Queens’ Award in 2004 and a Pride of Rugby Award in 2018.