Becoming a boxer may not seem like a natural step for a primary school teacher but that is exactly when Mr Ian Hanvey, a teacher at Wallace Prep, decided to do.
Mr Hanvey pulled on the gloves, stepped into the ring and pulled no punches when he took part in the Cancer Research White Collar Boxing Event.
The P6 teacher came across the fundraising event on social media and thought it would be a great way to raise money for the charity.
“As I flicked through my news feed on Facebook, I noticed a link to a White Collar Boxing event which involved eight weeks of training and helped raise money for Cancer Research,” explained Mr Hanvey. “I decided to put my name down, thinking that realistically nothing was ever going to come of it.”
However, the charity held Mr Hanvey to his pledge and the teacher decided he would use it as a good excuse to get fit and raise money at the same time.
“A few weeks later I received an email providing the address of the boxing gym I was going to attend and asking me to fill out a medical,” continued Mr Hanvey. “Needless to say sheer panic set in at this point as I questioned my sanity.
“Even still, the opportunity to get fit and raise money for Cancer Research was too good an opportunity to turn down.”
Mr Hanvey went along to his first training session at Breen’s Gym and he admits it was “torture”.
He said: “We were put through our paces immediately and told in no uncertain terms if we didn’t put the hours into training, the three rounds of boxing would be absolutely horrible.
“The coaches John Breen, Eamon Magee, Sean Breen and Connor Williams were excellent at motivating the group and providing us with the much needed knowledge on how to defend ourselves properly. The phrase “Keep your hands up big man!” was shouted at me hundreds of times to me throughout the process.”
Mr Hanvey was impressed with and inspired by the people he met during the training and he found that the world of boxing was not all that he thought it would be.
“Despite the brutal nature of boxing it is very clearly a sport which helps develop discipline and upholds great values which can help you in any walk of life.
“The friendliness of the other boxers and the togetherness of the gym members in what is ultimately an individual sport is something I didn’t anticipate.
“Everyone that walks in the gym is treated as equal and everyone in the gym is respectful of one another whether you are training for a world title shot or entering a charity white collar boxing event.”
The Lisburn teacher was triumphant in his bout, which he won in front of 500 people and to date he has managed to raise £400 for Cancer Research.
Donations can still be made online to support the charity. Log onto www.justgiving.com/ianhanvey to make a donation,
“It’s for a great cause,” added Mr Hanvey