By James Bovington
Armley boxer Josh Wisher opened the new gym facilities at Armley Leisure Centre as his own local gym The Ministry of Boxing on Moorfield Road celebrated its first birthday.
“Josh is becoming something of a quality role model for local young people,” said leisure centre manager Kelly Staniforth.
“Around here they all know who he is and look up to him. That’s why he was the natural choice for opening the new gym facilities.
“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with The Ministry and are grateful for the two hours free taster session he offered for local youngsters last week. We’re currently planning for weekly boxing sessions at the centre to be delivered by Josh starting 21 September which will provide a welcome new opportunity for local youngsters.”
During August Wisher also offered free boxing taster sessions to St Giles Trust, a charity that mentors disaffected young people and who brought along some participants in their mentoring programme.
“We asked Josh to organise a beginner’s camp offering youngsters a hobby, giving insight into the discipline a skilled pro boxer needs,” explained Trust mentor Tara Hanlon. “There were tangible benefits as the classes resulted in some starting to attend the regular classes.”
josh Wisher said: “I’m delighted that At The Ministry we can encourage everyone to give greater emphasis to exercise in general and boxing in particular. We hope this will, in turn, dissuade them from getting involved in negative and even criminal activities to which many youngsters are unfortunately quite vulnerable.
“We know that boxing can meet the objectives of the Trust which include improving self-esteem, creating a positive self-identity, and raising aspirations. Those are our objectives too.”
Josh Wisher and his father Phil opened The Ministry of Boxing in September 2022 and it recently became an England Boxing affiliated club.
There are classes for children aged four to nine on two afternoons with three weekly sessions for teen-agers and adults and hourly ladies’ sessions on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
Over 100 people are now attending each week and the Wishers also offer one to one boxing and fitness training sessions now that Josh Wisher has qualified as both a gym instructor and personal trainer.
Contact Josh at his Facebook page Joshwisherboxing or on 07717 202784.