‘I pretend I’m hitting Donald Trump’s face’ - Meet the disabled care home residents who keep fit through their own boxing club

John Grooms Court in Norwich has started a boxing club for its residents. Pictured is Mark Hobson. P

John Grooms Court in Norwich has started a boxing club for its residents. Pictured is Mark Hobson. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A care home has found an unusual way to keep its disabled residents fit and active – by starting its own boxing club.

Every fortnight many of the residents of John Grooms Court, Norwich, don the gloves and are put through their paces training with experts in the sport.

And this weekend the club members were given special training by professional Norwich boxer Zaiphan Morris.

Sue Hampson, deputy manager of the care home, said boxing contained many benefits for the residents.

These include building up muscle strength, having opportunities to achieve, alleviating frustration and improving concentration.

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'It gives our residents the chance to be active,' she said.

'We want to get away from that perception of care homes just being a place where people sit around and play bingo.'

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And the residents, who use wheelchairs, were given a full workout on Saturday by Mr Morris, have heaped praise on the scheme.

Rosie Woodgate, 63, who had a stroke in 1994 and is now blind and partially deaf, said: 'It makes me feel fitter and I am able to get rid of my frustrations.

'I tend to pretend that whatever I'm hitting is the face of Donald Trump, David Cameron or Margaret Thatcher.

'I'm very glad they started the club because I really enjoy it.'

Another resident, David Millar, 52, whose diabetes caused him to require the amputation of both his legs and part of his left hand, said: 'I have always liked boxing ever since I was a little boy.

'I used to watch Muhammad Ali and the greats, but I never used to box. This is the first time in my life I'm boxing.

'It helps me build up my upper-body strength.'

And 57-year old resident Vincent Leighs added: 'It's a very good exercise and it's good to socialise with everyone else too.'

The sessions are led by Sharon Plummer, of Norwich Fitness Club.

And Mr Morris, a super featherweight boxer with nine wins from 10 bouts to his name, hailed the creation of the club.

The 31-year old said: 'It's a brilliant idea.

'It gets the the residents moving, it makes them happy, and it increases their movement and strength.

'Although we're in a care home we are doing exactly the same things as we would do in a gym. We're working hard and giving encouragement.

'Some of them have got serious mobility issues but they are still trying and this gets the best out of them.'

Have you got a story about a care home doing something out of the ordinary? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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