By James Bovington
West Leeds women and girls are being encouraged to try out the Saturday morning ladies-only session at The Ministry of Boxing in Moorfield Road Armley, run by local professional boxer Joshua Wisher and his dad Phil.
“We rejigged our sessions last month,” said Josh. “And there are two open boxing sessions for anyone aged ten and over to attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm, but we’ve still got one session at 11am on Saturday mornings reserved just for ladies, young and older, and we’re inviting more to do so with the aim of eventually creating a second session.
“Female boxing as a sport is making progress,’ continued Josh, ‘drawing bigger crowds and having established itself in the same way as ladies football has. We have one young lady from the gym who is now competing as a fully-fledged amateur boxer, but the Saturday session is designed more to develop fitness, confidence, and resilience through basic boxing training.’
WLD spoke to three attendees aged between 35 and 45.
“I’ve been attending for six months,” said Margaret. “And I love the friendly atmosphere. Someone recommended the sessions to help cope with anxiety. They’ve really helped. It’s a cliché but if I can do it anyone can.”
Those sentiments were echoed by mother-of-three Paulette who praised ‘the positive welcoming atmosphere at The Ministry with friendly, encouraging coaches who nevertheless have high expectations. Attending classes since autumn 2022 when The Ministry opened has massively improved my willingness to get out and socialise’.
Lucy is a mother of two ‘very physical, very active’ boys aged nine and 12. She is also a primary school teacher and said: “Josh and Phil for their motivating teaching ability as attendees are always being challenged with constantly changing content making the hour fly by.
“The sessions are particularly appropriate for women facing the perimenopause and have improved my stamina, fitness and toning as I’m running much longer distances and I always come away with a clearer head as stress and tension have been relieved. I’d encourage anyone to give it a go.”
“Come along and meet Margaret, Paulette, Lucy and the ten or so others who attend regularly,” urged Josh Wisher.
Ladies’ sessions at The Ministry of Boxing are £6 for those 18 and over, £5 for under 18s. For further information contact Josh on 07717 202784 or Phil on 07917 715016. The Ministry of Boxing is at Electron House, Moorfield Road, Armley LS12 3RN.