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‘Trailblazer’ Windrush generation sportsman inspires West Berkshire sports students

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Former rugby captain and Windrush generation child Floyd Steadman inspired youth in Newbury last week.

Mr Steadman who played for Saracens rugby team spoke to students at the Waterside Centre on Wednesday, July 6.

The event was organised by social enterprise BoxWise, a 10 week boxing programme supported by Berkshire Youth.

Former rugby player Floyd Steadman at Waterside Centre in Newbury on July 7
Former rugby player Floyd Steadman at Waterside Centre in Newbury on July 7

BoxWise classes have been running at the Waterside Centre for “a number of months” and said this “collaborative” event was important to “provide a holistic experience for young people”.

It called the sessions a “safe space to channel energies productively and positively” for young people from a variety of backgrounds and upbringings.

Mr Steadman, who led his team to promotion to “the old first division for the first time in 1989”, joined the BoxWise advisory board this year.

The sportsman and later headmaster spoke about his life and career in a bid to inspire young people and show them what opportunities are out there.

He was a child of the Windrush Generation and ran away from home in his early life.

He said: “I’m proud to support BoxWise, a non-profit social enterprise launched by the Nick Maughan Foundation, that provides young people with professional training in boxing, guidance and mentorship.

“The solution to youth violence lies in creating an environment that stops people from turning to a life of crime in the first place, which is an area BoxWise is doing essential work in.”

He now works as a consultant on issues such as diversity, equality and inclusion with schools and companies.

BoxWise said that Mr Steadman is “passionate about supporting disadvantaged kids” and shares the same views and ethos as Berkshire Youth.

It said that Mr Steadman’s story was an opportunity to show young people that even if they are “disadvantaged” it is possible to go on to have a successful career.

“It is about giving them examples and say look what he has done. He had a difficult upbringing but look at what he has acieved,” it added.

BoxWise, which is a flagship of the Nick Maughan Foundation, is delivered by accredited England Boxing coaches in a “safe and controlled environment”, which it says remains “out-of-reach for far too many of Britain’s young people today”.

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