SAS Boxing Southampton are hosting a charity sparring event to raise money for Naomi House & Jacksplace children’s hospice and inviting local gyms this Friday July 30.

The event will start at 7pm and last for 90 minutes at Pound for Pound Palace, with organisers hoping to raise as much money as possible to support children and families “going through the most horrific thing.”

When a child or young adult is diagnosed with a life limiting condition, Naomi House & Jacksplace becomes their home from home and provides crucial, complex care to more than 600 children.

SAS regularly raises money for local charities through home-show boxing events and other fundraisers or methods, such as delivering food to those in need and even a coach starting an online platform for women to chat and support each other.

A recommended minimum donation of £3 per person is required and all money raised that evening will be handed over to the hospice.

A lead organiser Lisa Latona emphasised how important it has been for SAS to continue to help out, telling the Daily Echo: “We always do it anyway but it was especially important during the pandemic where the gyms are closed that we continue to offer our members and the community something, we’ve just constantly been like ‘what can we do?’

Daily Echo:

“I think it’s (Naomi House & Jacksplace) such an important cause anyway, we always raise money for a local charity rather than a big mainstream one, but it’s really important and some people think that these sort of charities are widely government funded.

“But they’re not necessarily and they do rely on fundraisers to help make their services the best they can be for the children and families who are going through the most horrific time. When it doesn’t involve you people can forget that these horrific things are happening.

“We’ve invited down Johnny Bolderson of BAD Samaritan and we’ve got local gyms coming down so we hope to get a nice vibe going. Because of the size of the gym it’s inclusive to people who want to come and spar.”

As well as this, SAS have focussed on mental health and how to improve and intervene on the health of their members and community, with it affecting everybody including young people and young men.

SAS coaches are trained to spot early signs of poor mental health but Mental Health Foundation statistics state that, every week, 1 in 6 adults experiences a common mental health problem - and 1 in 5 adults has considered taking their own life at some point.

As such, the club have collaborated with BAD Samaritan, launched by Bolderson as a clothing brand which encourages people to discuss mental health. The BAD part of the name stands for Battle Anxiety and Depression.

Latona added: “Mental health is a really big thing, me and Scott who work at SAS, our full time jobs are working in mental health services, we’ve got 15 years or so experience between us.

Daily Echo:

“It’s really important we bring that into what is especially a male dominated environment. It was very important for us to collaborate with BAD Samaritan who have actually gone on to sponsor some of our fighters now.

“They’re talking about mental health as fluent as talking about what you’re having for dinner.”