LUKE CAMPBELL: My gym will better kids, benefit people’s mental strength and help those struggling to cope with grief… but we were forced to shut after two days due to lockdown
- Luke Campbell recently opened Coolhand Fit24, a gym in his home city of Hull
- Community facility opened on January 2 but was forced to close two days later
- Campbell wanted a place where you can train and also learn about mental health
- He is an ambassador for The Good Grief Trust, having lost father Bernard in 2017
Britain’s 2012 Olympic boxing champion Luke Campbell recently opened Coolhand Fit24, a community gym in his home city of Hull.
The 33-year-old is an ambassador for The Good Grief Trust, having lost father Bernard in 2017.
He has also launched a petition urging the Government to allocate funds after boxing was left out of the £300m winter survival package.
Luke Campbell (right) wanted a place where you can train and also learn about mental health
January is never an easy month. Going into a New Year, everybody is setting new challenges and had an expensive Christmas and New Year.
This year we’ve gone straight into lockdown. Who knows when it’s going to end? It’s really tough. Mentally it’s hard. People need that release but at the moment there’s nothing.
Our gym opened the day of my fight with Ryan Garcia on January 2. We were going to do a big opening when I got back but we never got that far. I think we were open two days then had to close.
We have put a hell of a lot of work in and the place was just starting to get a lot of interest. I’m disappointed because I feel gyms can really benefit people’s mental health, if run correctly. I feel gyms could stay open and it could be a safe place to de-stress and mentally be in a better place. But the government decided to close them all. We’ve frozen memberships so me and my partner (Jack Burton) are taking the hit.
Campbell recently opened Coolhand Fit24, a community gym in his home city of Hull
This is something I’ve been working on for a long time.
I want to create a place where you can train but also learn about mental health. I’m an ambassador for The Good Grief Trust and the plan is to create a community within the gym. To hold meetings so we can get anyone who is grieving the right help and people who are going through the same thing can be there for each other.
I’ve worked in high-performance gyms, low-level gyms, gyms all around the world and I really wanted to put a gym in Hull that’s a bit different. There are a couple around Miami where I’ve seen a few things and thought: that’s a cool idea. Decoration, the equipment, flooring. Then I’m adding my own touches.
In normal times boxing sells out arenas and gets kids off the street. I found it bizarre the Government haven’t given a penny towards it. It’s worth fighting for. Whatever level you’re competing at, it teaches discipline, dedication, hard work, morals. Why would you not allocate anything for bettering kids in that way? It’s crazy.
*Luke Campbell was speaking to Daniel Matthews
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