Hackney headteacher spars with Barry McGuigan at motivational boxing academy’s launch

17:31 20 January 2014

Barry McGuigan at Hackney Community College

Barry McGuigan at Hackney Community College


Hackney Community College’s principal Ian Ashman stepped into the ring for a bout with the former featherweight champ Barry McGuigan last Friday to launch a motivational boxing academy.

Ian Ashman, Barry McGuigan & Michael Desmond at Hackney Community CollegeIan Ashman, Barry McGuigan & Michael Desmond at Hackney Community College

The 16 – 19 year olds who enrol on the first Barry McGuigan Boxing Academy in London which is based at the college in Falkirk Street will study an educational course alongside developing their boxing skills.

The idea is the discipline required for the sport will boost their self-esteem and ambition, and ramp up their confidence and motivation to engage with the world around them.

Mr Ashman said: “We believe that sport and boxing in particular is a great way to engage young people, keep them fit and healthy, and teach them courage and discipline, essential skills for life.

“Hackney has a proud boxing tradition and we are delighted to continue its development through our partnership.”

Mr McGuigan spoke to visitors during the event at the college’s SPACe sports centre, and gloves were handed out to anyone who wanted to spa with boxing professionals, including Barry’s son Shane McGuigan and upcoming star Conrad Cummings.

The academy is affiliated with the Lion Club in Hoxton, and the Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Michael Desmond, joined Mr Ashman and Mr McGuigan to cut the ribbon around the boxing ring.

Coach Domenico Bergonzi said the academy would be a great opportunity for many teenagers: “In a time of reduced community resources it will serve the community on many levels,” he said.

“It will promote health and physical fitness, skills acquisition to individual sports, a gateway to careers in leisure and recreation industries, personal goals and higher objectives to representative honours as we’ve seen locally in the London 2012 games.”

For more information email


Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 19:11
View from the Ferris wheel at last year's Winterville

A sprawling festive town filled with seasonal feasts, markets and entertainment has sprung up in Victoria Park for the second year running.

Yesterday, 15:22
Curator preparing the 1965 period room for the Christmas Past exhibition

Rooms have been decorated in the style of Christmases past at the Geffrye Museum.

Yesterday, 14:10
Vallie founders Robin Doble (L) and Nash Islam (R)

Tech City is the third largest technology hub in the world, and it’s right on our doorstep. Each week, we bring you news from the thriving area around Old Street roundabout. This week, reporter Sophie Inge talks to Nash Islam, co-founder of Vallie, the UK’s first on-demand app-based valet parking service.

Yesterday, 13:54
The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines - including one from Hackney

‘Scrapping IT system would be false economy’ say Conservatives

Mon, 16:43
Alicia Stawkowski

The family of a woman who disappeared from her home in Hackney on Bonfire night have put out a heartfelt appeal to try and trace her.

Mon, 15:00
Gallego was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Wednesday

An illegal immigrant who worked at Mansion House was caught out ahead of last month’s Chinese state visit.

Mon, 13:08
A scene from El Cinco, showing in the Argentine Film Festival

Argentina is best known for Tango, steak and football, but a festival is hoping to put its films on the map too.

Mon, 09:07
Hackney Town Hall lit up for Christmas

The countdown to Christmas begins in Hackney with the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk joining the annual festive lights switch-on at the Town Hall on Saturday.

Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder