Braid fighting back against mental health issues

Shaun Oneill


Shaun Oneill


BRAID ABC is fighting back against growing mental health issues by offering a ‘safe place’ for people of all ages to take up the sport or simply focus on feeling stronger.

And this Saturday night they are hosting a fight night in Tullyglass House Hotel in Ballymena, giving its members the chance to o showcase their skills - and sending the message that they are well and truly back in business.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Maureen Morrow, joined some of the young boxers at their IMMA Gym base in Ballymena to help launch their event.

“I was delighted to give my support to Braid Boxing Club as they make the final preparations for their exhibition night”, The Mayor said.

“The work being done by all the coaches, members and volunteers to encourage people of all ages to open up about their mental health and use physical activity to improve their overall wellbeing, is worthy of high praise.

“Having seen the skills and sportsmanship on display by the young members of the club, I know that anyone who is planning to attend the exhibition night is in for a real treat!”

Braid Boxing Club was formed in the late 1990’s but folded in 2017 due to a lack of numbers.

It has been operating from the IMMA Gym at George Street in Ballymena since May 2019 and runs training sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Saturday evening’s fight night sees the doors pen at 6pm, with the first fight at 6.30pm.

Braid ABC are affiliated with the Irish Athletic Boxing Association with all coaches and committee members first aid trained and Access NI checked.

It is the vision of the Braid club to develop local boxing talent to the highest level and also provide a safe training environment for all.

Braid have ‘Senior Ulster Champion’ Anthony O’Rawe onboard as one of the head coaches.

Everyone at the club benefits greatly under his knowledge and coaching.

And head coach George Courtney has installed a work ethic within the club which is second to none.

Stephen Young is another dedicated coach with a heart for young people and those struggling with addiction and life controlling issues.

Boxing for years has been a sport associated with not only physical health but also provides great benefits for mental health also.

The club is cross community and has attendance from all over.

Braid ABC opens Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and is based in the local IMMA Gym on George Street in Ballymena.

Times vary for age groups, for more information please get in touch via their facebook page.

Back in May last year Guardian Sport reported that the Braid club was back in business after a two year absence.

And they signaled their comeback by inviting WBC World flyweight champion Charlie Edwards along to officially declare Braid ABC Next Generation open.

Last week we previewed the big fight night which will see the best local lads in action against top opponents from across the water.

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