Olympic Boxer Offers Free Food, Lessons To The Poor

Olympic Boxer Offers Free Food, Lessons To The Poor

Olympic boxer Natasha Jonas is offering free boxing lessons with food packages to families from the area she grew up in “who might be struggling”.

The Liverpool star said she had “seen cafes giving people lunch or breakfast, and I thought ‘how can I help?'”

The 36-year-old said she also wanted to “give back” to those who “stood together” to get a decision to close gyms to combat Covid-19 overturned.

“[We] can’t change the world, but we can change our little bit,” she added.

Jonas, who was the UK’s first female boxing Olympian, has set up the sessions with her brother, who she said had come up with the idea.

The siblings grew up in the Toxteth area of Liverpool and “did rely” on things like free school meals, which the boxer said had given her insight into the problems people face trying to feed their families.

“We come from a working class background [and] struggled growing up – Toxteth wasn’t the greatest place, there was a lot of unemployment.”

‘Always stick together’

As a result, she said her brother had come to her and “asked what I thought about doing free sessions for parents who might be struggling”.

“My cousin had just started a meal pack company from my brother’s gym and we got him involved to provide food,” she added.

The former WBA super-featherweight champion, who became the first woman to box for Greater Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games, told BBC Sport at the start of the lockdown in March that she would be among boxers facing “difficult” times financially as a result of coronavirus.

The mother-of-one said her income had been directly affected, but she still wanted to help those in need in a similar way to footballer and free school meals campaigner Marcus Rashford, who had “done a great thing” and used his voice “for something positive”.

“We have had a mentality that, in Liverpool, we always stick together.

“We have stood together for keeping the gyms being open, so we wanted to give something back and do these sessions.”

She added the sessions will be held at locations in Liverpool and Wirral in private, to protect families’ identities.

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