I’m Lee and my journey with running began in my teenage years when I started taking part in cross country at school. I found that running long distance came easily and I began to excel at this particular discipline. From this I then went on to run for the school, spending some of my weekends running around Graves Park. I developed a love for running which in turn led to a six month stint with the Hallamshire Harriers. However, like a lot of teenagers other factors came into play such as girls and nights out with my mates. Running fell by the wayside, except for getting me out of a few sticky situations!! Then at sixteen my running ambitions hit another hurdle. I started to struggle with my health and was diagnosed with Crohns Disease which can be a debilitating and life restricting inflammatory bowel disease. The disease also left me with osteoporosis. This led to long spells in hospital over a two year period, resulting in major surgery, having my large bowel removed and a permanent ileostomy bag fitted. Although this was a life changing decision it gave me my quality of life back and has never held me back. I went on to secure employment, meet my partner Lex and settled down in my own home. Life was busy and so I only flirted with the idea of getting back into running and improving my overall fitness. Running was something I was always thinking about and was always going to do but time kept ticking by. Then in 2017 I began to face my next battle. After having a few problems with my shoulder and hand I was sent by my GP for further exploratory tests. While this was ongoing my partner was facing her own physical and mental health challenges. Her struggle with mental health began to escalate and accessing the appropriate support became even more challenging. In March 2018 my test results were back. It wasn’t good news. I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease and the test also highlighted an aortic root aneurysm. My life changed again overnight. Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine levels in the brain which can impact on an individual’s movement, speech, balance, memory, sleep and emotional wellbeing to name a few. However, each person’s experience of Parkinson’s Disease is individual to them. At this point I am in the early stages of my diagnosis and treatment. If you met me in the street you probably wouldn’t know I had Parkinson’s Disease. Although the movement side of the disease is minimal my diagnosis has had an impact on my mental health. Then the unthinkable happened and Lex’s mental health began to deteriorate, ultimately impacting on her physical health and leading to her sadly passing away. The combination of my diagnosis and losing my partner of 22 years has affected my mental health and at times it has been a struggle. Despite my struggles with my health the one thing that kept coming up in relation to Parkinson’s Disease and mental health was the positive impact of exercise. This naturally brought me back to running. Getting out and starting to run again gave me focus and has been a big help with my mental health. After doing a few Park Runs I heard about a local running group near where I live, The Ingle Runners. So I decided to give it a go and joined the men’s group. Although it had been a few years since I had ran regularly the team at Ingle Runners are very welcoming and supportive and have put me at ease. The running club is for all abilities and it doesn’t matter what stage you are at in respect of your running journey, anyone can join in. Despite all the health challenges I have faced throughout my life I am getting out there and running again. I cannot emphasise enough the positive effect that joining the club has had on my mental health. It has reopened my social life, got me out of the house and stopped me climbing the walls. It’s restored my motivation and my fighting spirit not to give in. So would I recommend Ingle Runners you ask……….you bet I would!!!
We tweeted earlier this week that the rise in hate crime has nearly doubled in just three years. Within schools, these incidents and crimes are towards teachers as well as amongst students. This week ex professional boxer and firefighter Amer ‘Killa’ Khan from the Ingle boxing gym delivered a talk to the pupils of local secondary school, Hinde House. Amer previously went to this very school, and is a relatable person for the current students. On top of his full time job AND helping coach the professionals at the Ingle Boxing Gym, he is a key contributor to the foundations projects… delivering talks, workshops and coaching for our Brendan Ingle Scholarship programmes and mentor schemes. The assembly’s were held to not only raise awareness of hate crime as a whole, but to also inform students how to identify and report hate crime. These talks were a chance for some of the foundation staff to introduce themselves, who will be working closely with the school in the future. The presence of relatable mentors like Amer, Conor and Sophie within the school aims to bridge a gap between students and teachers, and encourage a communicative environment for all participants. There was a huge emphasis on the boxing gym being a shared space for all, regardless of background, race, religion and so on. These talks proved both inspiring and educational to the year groups involved, and everyone at the foundation looks forward to future plans with Hinde House. Follow the link below to read a recent write up in the Sheffield Star! https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/people/sheffield-boxer-killa-heads-back-former-city-school-inspire-next-generation-817725 The foundation works very closely with local schools and will be posting more information about the Brendan Ingle Scholarship programme soon.
Friday the 4th of October was a special day in Sheffield with the official unveiling of the Brendan Ingle plaque outside the famous Ingle boxing gym. Lots of familiar faces gathered on Newman Road, Wincobank, who’s lives have been heavily impacted by Brendan’s positive life philosophies and selfless actions. Amongst those were the likes of former world champion, now Sky Sports presenter Johnny Nelson, professional boxer Kid Galahad, and Sheffield musician Shaun Doane. It was a family occasion with Alma, Dominic, Bridget, Tara and John all present. The cast Iron plaque is a modest installation on the foot of the entrance to the boxing gym, where the ‘Ingle Way’ will eventually begin. (You can find out more about this just a few clicks over from our blog on this website. ) The modest plaque has been funded by generous donations from both football clubs Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, Parsons Cross Boxing Gym, Matchroom Boxing as well as a number of private donations. The plaque is just a small gesture in a very big picture for the community. With plans to develop the outside playground in the near future, the foundation is increasing the use of this outside space more and more through it’s various projects in sport and physical activities. There wouldn’t be a more suitable way to honour Brendan Ingle’s memory. An ode to his legacy. https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/people/sheffield-boxing-great-brendan-ingle-honoured-plaque-outside-famous-gym-643384
A bold plan to reinvigorate Sheffield suburb, inspired by Brendan Ingle’s teachings The Ingle Way through Wincobank would feature new running routes, play areas and even a nature reserve if the exciting proposals are brought to life in their entirety. It has been designed to celebrate the achievements of boxing legend Brendan Ingle, who trained four world champions to glory from his gym there and gave hundreds of young people a leg up in life. Brendan Ingle ‘people’s memorial’ to include public square and walkway The circular route beginning at Meadowhall was drawn up by students at the University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture, working in conjunction with Brendan’s family and members of the wider community. Their vision is based around the great man’s principles, including self-discipline, respect for others and the importance of education. Plans for the Ingle Way through Wincobank, Sheffield. There are proposals to improve the area around the famous boxing gym, dubbed Brendan’s Pockets (pic: Sheffield School of Architecture) “The Ingle Way celebrates the values and teachings of Brendan Ingle, using his legacy to reinvigorate Wincobank and continue to connect the community as the area looks to the future,” Read more at: The Sheffield Star