Former world champion boxer inspires people in Newham to be fit and healthy
Boxing is a real hit when it comes to inspiring people of all ages in Newham to keep fit and stay healthy, according to an ex-world champion now working in the borough.
Former WBA featherweight champion Barry McGuigan MBE was the star guest at Thursday’s AGM of the NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
He explained how his boxing academy has been working with the CCG to encourage Newham to be more active, and to promote physical activity and local community cohesion.
The CCG, which is responsible for planning and buying most local health services in the borough, held a question and answer session with the boxer in front of an audience in a packed room at Stratford Arts Circus which included members of the public and local GPs.
Barry, who is president of the Professional Boxing Association, talked about how positive it has been collaborating with the CCG to help change the conversation around ill-health, as being active is such an important part of preventing and managing health conditions.
The Barry McGuigan Boxing Academy (BMBA) has worked with a range of groups in the borough using the skills and techniques of boxing in a non-contact way to promote a healthy lifestyle – from young people with diabetes to residents at homelessness charity, Caritas Anchor House.
He said: “It has been extremely rewarding to be able to help reduce levels of inactivity for people in Newham and get them started on their journey towards a healthier lifestyle. We hope they continue to enjoy participating in our sessions.”
As well as hearing from Barry, the AGM audience heard about the CCGs achievements over the last year including how the CCG achieved good health outcomes in areas such as flu immunisations, annual health checks for people with learning disabilities and control of key health indicators for people with diabetes. Attendees also heard how important feedback is particularly from patient groups. Recent findings from a 360 survey showed that in 26 out of 27 indicators the CCG rated better than the national average. The CCG also met its financial targets last year through effective management of finances and was rated ‘good’ by NHS England.
West Ham Foundation and Intelligent Health gave presentations and talked about the difference community partnerships are making to local people through schemes such as the 150club and walking football with two participants outlining the difference these clubs have made to their lives.
Dr Prakash Chandra, local GP and Chair of NHS Newham CCG, said “Our AGM is an opportunity to look back on our achievements over the last year and outline our plans for the future. This year it was great to be joined by Barry whose boxing academy has played an integral role in inspiring local people to be more active and manage their health and wellbeing.
“It was great to see so many local people at the AGM and to hear from participants about the difference physical activity has made to their lives. Community involvement is at the heart of our work and will continue to be our focus as we look ahead to next year.”