AS a professional boxer, there are a lot of responsibilities that come with the job.
I like to write this weekly column to try and promote boxing and its many benefits and to encourage others to take it up for an active and healthy lifestyle.
So I was pleased this week to be given a helping hand endorsing the sport that I love by a certain Prince Harry!
I read an article all about how the heir to the throne found refuge in a boxing gym when the weight of his mother’s untimely death 20 years ago had pushed him close to a breakdown.
Princess Diana’s youngest son, now 32, actually said these words: “During those years I took up boxing, because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it’s a really good way of letting out aggression. And that really saved me.”
I’m pleased to hear Harry recommending the sport that is very close to my heart and one that is constantly shrouded in controversy and condemnation from many that won’t try to understand it.
It’s also refreshing to hear a man – especially one from the royal family – openly discussing his mental health issues to the entire nation.
Mental health is something that affects us all and talking about it is the first step to overcoming it.
The last time that I checked, over 75 per cent of suicides recorded in the UK were male.
It’s almost unmentionable for a lot of men and that’s something that needs to change. It shouldn’t really take royalty for us to sit up and take notice.
Former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno is someone that has been a victim of mental health issues for decades and campaigns heavily to raise awareness.
Mental Health Awareness Week starts on May 8 and I would like to encourage the readers to put that week down in the diary and aim to visit a boxing gym.
I train at mi-gym in Chelmsford. It’s a new gym run by my trainer, Mark Massow, who is an extremely friendly, funny and welcoming person.
You can easily look the gym up on Facebook, so please do and come along to take part.
I’ll be there training for my next fight on June 10 at London’s York Hall where I challenge for my first ever professional title – the British Challenge light-heavyweight belt.
I’d love to see the gym packed out in that second week of May to know that I have done my bit for Mental Health Awareness Week.
For tickets to the next show contact Team Church on 07938 878962.
Follow ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church on Twitter @Darrel_Church89
Team Church would like to thank sponsors MB Surfacing and RB Fencing and agent Tim Rickson.