Alive Amateur Boxing Club in Tidworth, founded by serving soldier Chris Milligan, has only been running since 2015, but it already has almost 300 children and adults on its books, around half of which are connected to the military. Young boxers Casey Pain (12) and Jack Smith (10) tell us more…
Tell us about yourselves
Casey: My dad is in the Army at 32 Regt RA. I have lived on Salisbury Plain my whole life.
Jack: My mum is in the Adjutant General’s Corps. We moved house last year.
Why did you join the boxing club?
C: You can become fit and healthy, but it has also helped me have confidence as I was starting year seven.
J: I liked watching the boxing in the Olympics. My favourite boxer was Anthony Ogogo. I also enjoyed watching my dad and his friends box, so I asked if I could do it too.
Has it helped you with Army life?
C: My dad has been away a lot on tours and I found it hard, so it’s nice to be part of a club that understands Army life and families.
J: I love the atmosphere at the club. I’ve made more friends and so have my parents.
What are the best bits about boxing?
C: I think Alive ABC helps Army families and children to develop their feelings in a controlled area. It brings military, civilian and veteran communities together as one.
J: The coaches are really good. They help me and know lots of stuff about boxing.
What have you learnt?
C: Apart from the six pack I now have, my confidence has improved. Discipline also – our head coach Chris doesn’t allow bad behaviour or bad manners.
Do you compete?
C: Yes, but only when we are ready. We have to commit to a lot of training to be able to be matched against other boxers.
J: I had my first bout this season and I’m now getting ready for the Hampshire ABA schoolboy championships.
Would you recommend the club to other military children?
C: I would recommend anyone, children or adults, to come and train at Alive ABC. It has a great gym, friendly coaches and we have lots of fun.
J: Yes I think kids should come to boxing. It is good for discipline and helps your fitness and I really enjoy it.