Training with the boxing team was a leisurely affair. I watched them run and sprint, then attempt twenty press-ups, twenty sit-ups and then twenty of some kind of hybrid of the squat thrust and the star jump. Then they did it all over again. University boxing is serious business. The group of fifty or so was split into the novices and the experts. The experts honed their skills with a combination of punchbag work and extreme skipping, while the novices divided into two further groups to look over the basics of the sport. First rule of boxing? “Defend yourself at all times,” coach Jim Frew explained. After that, it got pretty intense. The session is only a couple of hours, but they really do know how to cram in the information: “left hand forward”, “twist on the balls of the feet”, “head low”, “twist, bang, it’s two movements but it’s one”. The captain himself certainly has the credentials for the part. St Anne’s historian James Glancy possesses the only Royal Marines Cadetship in the country and holds the rank of Second Lieutenant. He speaks with genuine enthusiasm about the sport he has come to love: “Boxing is one of the toughest types of fitness there is. You need self-discipline, skill and individual motivation. But if you are fairly athletic and looking for a challenge, you should come along and give it a try.” A comprehensive list of training times is available on the club website at www.ouabc.co.uk.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003 


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