Portsmouth News

Academy boxes clever to bag prized Queen’s Award

- Sophie Lewis newsdesk@thenews.co.uk

THE Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service after demonstrat­ing exceptiona­l work as a volunteer group.

The award has been dedicated to the Academy after an extensive and thorough assessment made by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Oliver Crosthwait­e-Eyre earlier in the year.

Mark Coates, one of the founders of the Academy, said: ‘It really is an award for the whole community and I think the whole of Hayling should be proud.

‘It is about the entire community and the 20, 30 volunteers each week. It is about a remarkable group of people.’

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was establishe­d in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee and is the highest award that can be received by a voluntary group in the UK.

The Heart of Hayling Boxing

Academy is thought to be the only group in Hayling Island to have received the prestigiou­s award, which pays tribute to its continual dedication of benefiting the community.

Formed in 2018 by Mark along with Knox White, the Academy has prided itself on the work that it has done - not only with the boxing training that it provides, but also within the local area.

Mark, 47, said: ‘The island was calling out for something that was super accessible.

‘This award is perfect because it is about teamwork and care in the community.’

During the initial Covid pandemic, the volunteer coaches committed their time to deliver 16,000 medical prescripti­ons across the island over a period of six months to help aid those who needed it.

The Academy also utilised its facilities to set up a summer literacy school to help assist young people who were struggling with the impact that the restrictio­ns had on their educations.

The award crystal and certificat­e will be presented later in the summer by Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, when the coaches and volunteers will receive the acknowledg­ement that they deserve.

The Academy is a community group that thrives off the unitedness and unstinting support of its trustees, the Hayling Community Centre, local businesses and countless individual­s - all of whom show a respectabl­e amount of commitment to the local community.

 ?? ?? Members of the Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy
Members of the Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy

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