‘It's changed people’s lives’ – Banbury boxing and fitness club celebrates 20 years
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Started by founder and head coach Dave Earle MBE in 2003 as an amateur boxing club, Spit ‘N’ Sawdust, just off North Bar Street, now has boxercise sessions, kids classes, as well as counselling and support sessions.
Dave said: “It’s changed people’s lives. It started as a boxing club because people knew I used to box, so they asked me to start a club. So I started up the boxing club, and we had a few champions. Then somebody asked me to help children, so I started visiting schools.
“After that, I was asked to help people with alcohol and drug problems, so I got to effectively change a lot of people's lives through boxing and fitness.”
For his community sport work with Spit ‘N’ Sawdust, the former amateur boxing and kick boxing champion received an MBE during a visit to Buckingham Palace in 2021 and had the honour of carrying the Olympic torch prior to the 2012 games.
Dave said: “There’s been too many great moments from the past 20 years; I’ve been really fortunate. From winning lots of medals with the boxing team to the counselling and cognitive processing therapy sessions we have been running on Mondays for eight years, they have all been very successful.
"For someone who left school in Coventry without any O levels, I think I’ve made a positive impact on Banbury, with many people around the town now knowing me and the club.”
Dave has no plans to slow down once the anniversary celebrations are done and is now pushing a new business that aims to train boxing coaches around the country on how to deal with people experiencing mental health problems.
A party at Spit ‘N’ Sawdust will be open from 6pm until 11pm on Saturday (November 4). Alcoholic drinks and food will be available from a bar and there will be music. All are welcome.
For more information about Spit ‘N’ Sawdust visit, https://www.snsboxing.com/
For Dave’s mental health training course business visit, https://book.tribox.uk/