AASE Boxers take Tenerife
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Eleven lucky members of UCB’s Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) Boxing Academy have just returned from a two week coaching placement in sunny Tenerife.
The trip was sponsored by Erasmus+, a government-funded programme offering placements across Europe designed to give students valuable work experience while immersing them in a different culture.
UCB’s second-year boxers spent several days in intensive Spanish lessons before venturing to schools and teaching children aged 6-12 some of the fundamentals of boxing in their own language. While younger children had sessions focused on improving agility and stamina, higher age groups progressed quickly into more advanced boxing techniques.
Coaching wasn’t the only thing on the agenda for the UCB boxers, however, as early mornings and evenings were taken up with group sprints and sparring sessions on the beach overlooked by curious locals. Group outings to a zoo, waterpark and even an unforgettable whale-watching boat trip filled the students’ hard-earned weekends off.
“This trip was about much more than improving students’ boxing skills,” said Ivan Cobb, programme co-ordinator and Assessor of Boxing at UCB. “Erasmus+ placements are about immersing students in the culture. They conducted all their sessions in Spanish and made themselves known in the community – that, I think, was one of the most valuable elements of the experience.”
Students from AASE Boxing Academies all over the country joined UCB’s 11 boxers to conduct sessions and spar with in the evenings.
“We learned so much about working with new people, possible career paths and dealing with new environments,” said student Henry Bilbey. “It opened my eyes to the possibilities of coaching back in the UK.”
“Dealing with children of all ages in a different language really improved my communication skills,” added Regan Williams, another of UCB’s second-year boxers. “It made me feel much more confident about leading sessions and using my initiative to get people engaged.”