Waltham Forest Amateur Boxing Club Coaches are all 100% Volunteers.
When it comes to Waltham Forest Amateur Boxing Club head coach Chris ‘Bomber’ Baker can certainly be described as the glue that holds us together.
In fact Chris has certainly stuck around for years – seeing many highs and lows during that time – and he was a key figure in helping the club find its new home at the start of the millennium when we quite realistically faced being disbanded.
Chris, who learnt to box at the Wellington Avenue Youth Club in Chingford, joined the club as a 19-year-old boxer, with his most notable achievement coming in 1994, when he was crowned middleweight Senior Novice Champion.
The following year Baker attempted to conquer the ABA’s, but he would lose out to eventual winner Jason Matthews who would also eventual go onto win both the WBO and Commonwealth middleweight titles as a pro.
Bomber, who had flourished under the guidance of Derek Lloyd announced his own retirement from the ring in 1995, but quickly went from poacher turned gamekeeper as he slipped on the pads to start his coaching qualifications.
Chris has been with us ever since, and his dedication to the club was noted in 2012 when he was short listed in the local council’s Coach of the Year Awards.
Reflecting on events he said: “I will never forget the night I won that Novice final at the home of boxing York Hall.
“I was very lucky to have Derek as a coach at the time, and I learnt an awful lot from him.
“Hopefully I have been able to take a lot of what he taught me into my own coaching.
“Being involved with this club is something I love, and while a lot of sweat and toil goes into it seeing one of the kids get a result in the rings gives you no better feeling.
“The club has been through a lot of highs and lows since I’ve been involved with it,” he continued.
“But I’m pleased to say thanks to the efforts of Ian Cuddy and all the other fantastic coaches we have on board that we are moving in the right direction.
“We now have a state of the art training facility at E4 Health and Fitness and what an honour it was to host the North East Division Schoolboy Championship just after Christmas.
“I now look forward to us hosting our first open show at the gym, because it is vital that as a club we can generate funds.
“I certainly know Derek, who was such a huge part of this club will be looking down in anticipation, so hopefully when that day comes we can do him proud and have plenty of winners on the card.”
A forever devoted Everton Football fan, I original managed a youth football team and in a funny way this is how I become involved with boxing.
My son Tom Cuddy was the football team’s goalie and the coach recommended that Tom try boxing to improve his hand skills. Tom was about eleven when he boxed for the club and it was great for his fitness.
At the time I was also a part-time actor starred in a few adverts which include the 2007 Skoda cake making advert and the Volkswagen Golf ‘Why drive something like Golf when you can drive Golf?’ As a Business Centre Manager for Mercedes, Renault, VW and currently Nissan, I would encourage them to sponsor the club and also had the use of a team people carrier. I become more and more interested in Waltham Forest ABC both my family and I helped out the club at some of the shows.
Waltham Forest ABC was going places, Chris Baker approached me to see if I would be interested in volunteering to help the club further and support them building up the club profile. Chris’s passion for the club was infectious and I was hooked. I never had any intention of helping out at the boxing club, the problem is that when it gets under the skin that’s it, there’s absolutely nothing you can do. I then become heavily involved becoming club secretary, competition secretary, kit manager, matchmaker and general driver. It’s remarkable the amount of time and effort the coaches have put into the club. There have been many coaches over the years that have kept this club going. I have spoken to a lot of people at various club shows and championships and it’s amazing to see how the club is held with such respect.
I recall received a call from a club secretary who had lost bouts for the Saturday and we have gone there with three boxes and come away with two winners. I have been on a two thousand mile round trip with Liam Dillon’s first skills bout and of course one of the favourite is about we took in Liverpool with Tyler Nejat versus Paul Rooney, now I four thousand mile round trip ‘a long way to go with one boxer’ but it was great and the journey back was a sweet one, with the winner’s trophy sitting on the back seat with a very pleased young Tyler Nejat, another one with Sam Gilley who is now at Tottenham and Enfield ABC, who boxed a Scottish school schoolboy Champion who just lost out on a tightest of margins.
During my time at the club I have qualified as a judge and now have a wider understanding of the sport. I have invested a lot of time and energy into this club, organising the dinner show and bring boxing back into the borough of Waltham Forest hosting a show at Waltham Forest Assembly Hall. All this work has been to fund the club and to give the young people of the borough a great club to be part of and proud to be a member of Waltham Forest Boxing ABC.
Gym Owner / Sponsor
Martin’s first introduction to Waltham Forest Amateur Boxing Club was when Chris Baker came to his gym ‘Results’ in 2000. He was trying to find a new home for the club and with further discussion with David Furlong we decided to have the club on board.
We had a period of time with them training in a couple of different areas of the building whilst building work was carried out before going into their new boxing gym.
We are now 17 years down the line.
We have had a few coaches over the years that have made their contribution to the development of the club, some of which are still with us. I can reminisce about the years gone by like the good days with Derek Lloyd and the sad times, the passing of him, (he is sadly missed), that’s enough of that, the club goes on.
Other coaches have got involved and bring their knowledge, experience and new ideas like Ken Oram and Peter Miranda. Ken helping get the boxers out on shows and Peter being the person behind the web development and branding of the clubs name.
In between all these years one person who has given his time and life to the club is Mr Ian Cuddy. Without him and Chris Baker we would not be where we are today.
Results/E4 Fitness are very proud to have W.F.A.B.C. training at our gym.
As a young man in 1966, I was always very interest in boxing, watching the likes of Henry Cooper, Sugar Ray Robinson, Cassius Clay, Sonny Liston and Many other exciting boxers around. I could see that there was a real art and skill in the way that they would move around the ring. Searching for a club to build up some boxing experience, I chose Fitzroy Lodge in Lambeth South London.
With discipline and hard work, I was soon involved in the Amateur boxing scene and boxed at Alexandra Palace an historic venue where the BBC first broadcasted.
Following an amateur boxing career, I felt that it was time to share my experience, enthusiasm, motivation and hard work with the up and coming boxers and turned my hand to the coaching side which gave me a new perspective on and the tactics involved in the art of boxing.
During the thirteen years at Fairbairn House A.B.C., I qualified as a Level one Assistants Coach in 2002 and followed on in 2004 I qualified for my A.B.A. Coach Badge to complete my training achievements.
Waltham Forest A.B.C. was a club going places, with a drive for success, I meet with the team of Coaches and felt welcome and was encourage joining them in building up the success of the club and felt I could bring my knowledge I have to the table.
As a team of Coach at Waltham Forest A.B.C. we have worked hard to achieve good discipline, structure and a sense of belonging with all the boys. I have now been with the club for approximately fire years and in 2014 I qualified for A.B.A. Judging Badge. Which has give me an insight into what judges look for during a match, I can then use this to support the boys with their techniques and skilfulness .
I am really pride that one of our boys, Joe Payne put the work in to achieve the title of National Junior A.B.A. under 80kg with a knock out performance 2017.
My boxing interest started as a young girl, watching Muhammad Ali in his early years boxing on TV with my dad, I enjoyed the sport as well as the entertainment aspect of it, and I watched in awe and wondered what it would be like if I was to be involved with the sport. In the seventies however, there were no female boxers and so I felt that it as something that women were forbidden from doing.
However, I took up boxing at a very late age in life, and this was inspired by a feeling of being defenceless after my teenage daughter was attacked by a gang of boys. When one of my sons was given a free pass to the local boxing club, I knew it was a perfect opportunity for me to get involved in boxing.
My first boxing lesson was at Leyton Amateur Boxing club in Leyton in 2009. As a middle-aged woman, I was anxious about taking part in the boxing lesson as the club was filled with teenage boys, young men and a few young girls. It felt strange as I was the only middle-aged woman at the club, and not as fit as they were, and I found the bag work difficult.
The early years at the boxing club was both gruelling and tiring as I was having to do lots of fitness that I had not done since leaving school. In addition, I was travelling for over an hour to the boxing club after a long day at work, but was determined to commit to the sport and learn as much as possible. Also I wanted to improve on my fitness, and pushed myself during every boxing session. Furthermore, it was important to me that I learned how to box properly aimed to learn the technics and movements like a boxer, so I spent many of my boxing lessons practising my foot movements and bag work.
I joined Waltham Forest ABC in 2014, where there was more focus on technics, which enabled me to enhance my boxing skills further.
My early experience at this club was rather difficult, again as I was the only woman there, working out with mainly young teenage boys. There were no one training of similar age to me, but the coaches pushed me hard, and gave the confidence to stay keep training as they showed their amazement by my enthusiasm and dedication to boxing.
In my opinion, the lack of women at boxing clubs is a barrier to women hoping to get involved in the sport, as it can be intimidating, but this made me even more determined to keep up my attendance and to work hard at each training sessions, constantly setting myself new goals.
I had to endure laughter and regular comments from some individuals of my participation at a boxing club. Initially it was an incredibly difficult time for me and I often felt discouraged, however I persevered and it helped to build and strengthen my character. I learnt how to spar in the ring, which I found very scary at first. I learnt to improve my technics such as my foot movements, bag work and working out on pads with the coaches.
I watch lots of boxing shows on Box Nation and try to keep abreast with the latest news and highlights in the boxing world.
I have now been boxing for over 10 years and enjoy my weekly sessions very much, and it has become an integral part of my life. I rarely miss boxing classes as it is something that I am committed to and I look forward to it.
I am well respected by all due to my determination, strength and commitment. I am pleased that I have made the difficult decision to attend boxing classes and to persevere through all the difficult times as I have seen a phenomenal change in not just my fitness but also in my character.
Becoming a Boxing Coach
What it takes to be a qualified Boxing Coach in the UK
18 to adult
ABAE/SPORT ENGLAND Coaching Contact Boxing:
Note: These courses are normally for people involved in amateur boxing clubs.
To achieve a career in contact boxing you must work towards awards, these can only be accessed through an affiliated boxing club.
The coaching structure is as follows:
- The entry age of 16 is based on development opportunities that exist within Further Education and Academies. Anybody under the age of 18 is legally considered a minor and as such would always need to operate under the supervision of an appropriately qualified adult (all Level 1 coaches must operate under such supervision as the course qualifies coaches to assist delivery of sessions).
- Those without prior experience as a carded boxer would need to have attended a Boxing Leader Course in order to gain the understanding of boxing techniques required to attend the Level 1.
- There is no requirement to be a member of an ABAE affiliated club as the qualification would not be accepted onto the Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF) with this stipulation. The majority of places on courses will go to members of ABAE affiliated clubs.
1st 4Sport Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Amateur Boxing
- The qualification is awarded by 1st4Sport Qualifications and the ABAE is the delivery
- The qualification may not be UKCC endorsed as WABA do not wish to be involved.
- The qualification will be on the Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF) and will be an accredited, nationally recognised qualification. The qualification will be developed to meet UKCC standards.
- The qualification will qualify coaches to assist the delivery of sessions under the supervision of an ABAE Full Coach (or Level 2) or above.
- The Level 1 Coach will be able to hand-up in the corner and he/she will be able to take technical and conditioned sparring (again, under supervision), but NOT open sparring.
- There will be a full Theoretical Syllabus and Practical Syllabus for the qualification that candidates will be able to see in advance of the course.
- The courses will be delivered using a ratio of 1 Coach Educator to 12 candidates (1:12). This ratio reflects the requirement of the coach educator to support all 12 candidates with individual feedback throughout the course, and to support the completion of tasks within each candidate’s Candidate Pack.
- Each candidate will receive a resource pack.
- Although it will not be a requirement to be a member of an ABAE affiliated club in order to attend a course, coaches will only be able to operate within amateur boxing if they are registered to the ABAE.
- A coach will still need to have a current enhanced CRB clearance and First Aid qualification in order to register with the ABAE.
Ongoing Qualifications & CPD
- Following implementation of the new Level 1 and Level 2 courses there is a need to develop additional continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities for coaches’ e.g. practical seminars. These will allow coaches to continue to enhance their knowledge and skills without necessarily having to take the next level of qualification.
- Although a coach cannot have their qualification taken off them, within a 3 year period there will be a requirement for coaches to either progress to the next level of qualification or complete a Refresher Course, as a requirement of ABAE registration.
- The Level 2 qualification is currently in development for roll-out in 2011. It is very unlikely that a stipulation for Level 1 coaches to wait a year before attending the Level 2 course could be applied. Coaches will be able to progress when they are ready to and feedback from their assessor will guide them as to an appropriate timescale.