Two-time world boxing champion coming to St Albans leisure centre

PUBLISHED: 11:04 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:04 16 September 2019

James DeGale will host free 20-minute boxing technique sessions in a full-size ring at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre this September. Picture: Submitted by Westminster Lodge

James DeGale will host free 20-minute boxing technique sessions in a full-size ring at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre this September. Picture: Submitted by Westminster Lodge

Archant

A two-time International Boxing Federation champion of the world is taking centre stage at a St Albans leisure centre this weekend.

James DeGale will host free 20-minute boxing technique sessions in a full-size ring at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre on Saturday, September 21.

Retiring earlier this year at the age of 33, James brought home both a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and professional world titles during his 10-year career.

He bagged the IBF super-middleweight belt title in May 2015, lost it in December 2017, but won it back in April 2018.

James - who is a gym member of Westminster Lodge - will put participants through their paces in the ring, but also talk about the sport and its fitness benefits, give advice, and pose for photos.

He will take the child and adult sessions alongside his sister Eloise, who is also a boxing coach. James said: "I feel honoured to be asked to run some boxing taster sessions and am looking forward to seeing what talent St Albans has to offer.

"I suspect I'll have some competition to contend with - especially from younger boys and girls who really love trying out the moves. I'd better watch out!

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"Boxing drills are fantastic for fitness, discipline and stamina.

"If you've never tried it before, this open day is a great opportunity to give it a go - I look forward to meeting you ringside."

The session is part of the Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre Family Day which begins at 11am on Saturday.

Other activities include swimming for under fives, face painting and balloon modelling, and Wet'n'Wild pool sessions for children over eight.

The centre is run by Everyone Active in partnership with St Albans City and District Council.

Everyone Active general manager Lesley Garner said: "We are delighted that James is offering to host these boxing sessions and can't wait to see some of his expert moves being demonstrated and taught.

"James trained in the pool here as part of his preparation for professional fights and now he has retired he also regularly uses our gym. I know people have been itching to see him in boxing action and members often ask him for advice and tips. Well now's your chance!

All activity sessions can be booked at the Westminster Lodge front desk or on 01727 736080.

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