The Ringside Charitable Trust is currently the only charity in existence which aims to provide a structured aftercare system for boxers struggling to transition to a life without boxing.
Chairman Dave Harris kickstarted the charity with the aim of aiding stricken fighters who are having troubles adapting to a life lacking the structure, drive and confidence that comes with being a professional pugilist. That may give rise to sufferings with depression, alcoholism, poverty or injuries resulting from blows dealt inside the ring itself.
Boxing writer Tris Dixon outlined the benefits the sport often has on those it touches. “It gives a sense of community, a common interest, a way out, self-confidence, self-respect, discipline, routine, structure, respect and lifelong friendships“, pointed out the former editor of Boxing News Magazine.
All of this is true. One need not look very far for the hundreds of interviews with fighters who say they would be dead if they had not found the sport of boxing, or at least in jail. Britain’s brightest shining stars Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have been vocal about how the sport has transformed their lives, demonstrating the undeniably positive impact the sport can have on those who might otherwise fall by the wayside.
However, it is the stories of those who perhaps do not make the headlines, those who reaped the benefits of boxing in their physical primes before then paying the price further down the line and who for the large part go unnoticed and unaided, that the sport needs to do more to accommodate. Dixon’s book ‘Damage’ highlights the short and long-term impacts continuous blows to the head can have on the brain, and how all too often those struggling are left to fend for themselves. Financial problems and loneliness also regularly consume fighters still adjusting to life without the sport that provided direction, income and identity for so long. With the millions of pounds seemingly floating around at the highest levels of the sport, not enough is being drip-fed down to aid those who held it up in previous generations.
This is why Ringside Charitable Trust hopes to offer support to afflicted fighters in need of help. The charity aims to build a thirty-six bed residential care facility which would house ex-boxers in need to provide refuge and structure among those who can relate to their struggles more than anyone else; other fighters.
Maintaining the home is predicted to cost around £1.5 million a year, and while some funding is already in place more is needed in order to get the project off the ground. Please find the link to RCT’s website here where you can donate to the cause to aid ex-fighters in getting the vital help and support to adjust to life once the gloves have been laced up for a final time.