Wednesday, March 15th, 2017.

Excelsior girls in training at the Grainger Park Boxing Club.

Year 10 Excelsior Academy girls are learning the silky skills of boxing on a new training course introducing them to the sport in one of Newcastle’s most respected clubs.

Grainger Park Boxing Club in Scotswood was formed back in 1928 and is well known for its top trainers working with beginners and pros alike.

The Excelsior girls are learning the ropes in their first sessions under the careful guidance of the club’s fully qualified coaches over the next six weeks.

Hooks, crosses, uppercuts – no punches are pulled as the pupils learn how to hit as well as how to avoid being hit.

Vivian Taylor, of Grainger Park Boxing Club, said: “Grainger Park has been using boxing as a tool of engagement with young people since 1928 – there has always been a demand for it.

“Because boxing is new to Excelsior, the girls were very uncertain at first, but Danny the coach has a very open and friendly personality.

“He started to train with them, getting them to punch pads and the more the girls saw what was happening, the more they joined in.

“He soon he had a line of girls waiting to punch the pads – you could see instantly the confidence growing in the girls.

“The next session will see us getting them more motivated to do other fun exercises which are excellent for developing confidence and building motivation.

“We hope that if we can make this successful we may be able to start a mother-daughter programme to develop health within the family.”

Excelsior Academy PE teacher Frances Tiffin said: “The first boxing sessions have gone really well – the sport builds self-confidence and fitness and the girls have said how much they’ve enjoyed it.

“The boxing course is part of the emphasis that Excelsior places on fitness and well-being, such as building an extra hour of PE into pupils’ timetables every week and staff leading a ‘Let’s Get Physical’ campaign to boost their fitness and lead by example.”