St Simon’s Packs a Punch
One of the priority strands of the Capital Vision 2020 is to engage more closely with sports people, and a church in west London is packing more than a punch to reach the young people of its parish.
St Simon’s Church, led by its Vicar the Revd Cameron Collington, holds a twice-weekly boxing club for local children, aged seven to 15-years, to be trained in fitness and shadow boxing skills. This unique club is aimed at teaching boys and girls the sport, while maintaining discipline in their daily lives.
The club was set up five years ago, and it runs through the dedication of Steve and Christine Lee, who attend the church, run the youth club and support the young people in their daily lives. Participants are able to have fun while training together, learning how to discipline their emotions, as they create a greater sense of wellbeing and confidence.
Commenting on the foundation of the club, Cameron noted:
“Steve and Chris, in particular, are doing it because they know Jesus Christ, and they’re motivated by a man who is somebody who did good for people, who gave people new hope, said some quite radical things, but was careful about the way that he did it.”
Writing the theology to support this rare example of a sports club in a church, Cameron suggests:
“…Young men and women are trained to get the best from their bodies: to excel in discipline, to discover the benefits of exercise and to develop a technical skill. God is glorified as people are taught to respect and care for themselves physically, and strive for full potential.”
There are also other benefits for the teenagers who attend, as they can join a youth club and get further help with school and homework, from members of the congregation. As Steve Lee states:
“We’re a whole family here, if you like. A complete unit.”
The Boxing Club is on Tuesday and Thursdays at St Simon’s Church Rockley Road, Shepherd’s Bush. More information can be found on the church website or by contacting the parish office.