Boxing programme builds confidence in girls The iBox2 Boxing and Circuit Gym programme is offered by our SWiS (Social Workers in Schools) programme at Cosgrove School. The nine-week programme is designed to empower Year 6 girls by enhancing their confidence and self-belief. Every Wednesday during Term 2 and 3, Alesha, the SWiS Worker at Cosgrove School, drives a group of seven girls to the iBox2 boxing and circuit gym in Manurewa. There, they spend an hour with a trained facilitator who teaches the girls the difference between boxing and fighting. The sessions are a combination of discussion and physical exercises and skills. The girls learn the core values underpinning boxing as a sport, including respect, discipline, rules, and footwork. The facilitator explains how boxing also fosters cognitive skills by prompting the girls to think mathematically about being positioned at a 45-degree angle, odd and even movements, and using lines for forward and backward motions. iBox2 has been running for two years now at Cosgrove School. Students are selected by their teachers and the demand by the girls for a place on the programme is high because they know that as well as building confidence and learning a new sport, it is fun! Alesha says, “This programme offers the girls additional support in areas like anxiety, self-esteem, and confidence, while also providing them with an outlet to cope with daily challenges they may face." It also allows Alesha to build social skills and a belief in the girls and what they can achieve in positive fun ways. At the end of the term, they celebrate their achievements with a pizza party at school. Parents are invited and all the girls are presented with a trophy. One parent expresses gratitude, stating, "I'm very grateful for my child taking this activity, she has come out of her shell so much and genuinely enjoys boxing. She is going to miss it". Another parent adds, "I believe it's a great opportunity to build friendships and enhance confidence." “I want to thank you for taking me to boxing and helping me when I needed it,” says the student. Another enthusiastic student adds, "I would recommend this programme to others because you can learn to defend yourself and like new hobbies." Teachers are seeing positive changes in the graduates of the programme in the classroom. Says one teacher, “The girls in my class have gone from being shy and keeping to a small group to becoming outgoing and willing to work with anyone in the class. The improvement in confidence and willingness to try new activities, especially sports-related has been excellent.” At Great Potentials Foundation, Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) programme is one of the services offered by Family Service Centres. We currently have SWiS workers in Cosgrove Primary School, Kelvin Road Primary School, Edmund Hillary Primary, Red Hill Primary, Kauri Flats School, Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School and Papakura Intermediate School.