Pride in London may be over, but KOBOX Boxing Club's #PROUD campaign has only just begun.
For KOBOX, Pride isn’t a fad. It isn’t just making a noise for one week of the year. This isn’t a publicity stunt. This is about being #PROUD 365 days of the year.
The boxing club's #PROUD campaign was created to genuinely make a difference within the LGBTI community. To open their doors to anyone who may otherwise have felt they weren’t welcome, or felt that being part of a boxing club wasn’t an option.
Three months ago, the London-based studio teamed up with Attitude to show the world that they are a boxing club for everyone, regardless of size, shape, gender or sexuality.
Over #Pride week, the KOBOX team put on two classes for 46 Attitude winners - one for every year since the start of Pride in London - led by their trainer Doug Fordyce, to openly talk about the struggles of the LGBTI community getting involved in boxing.
And, above all else, to have a damn good time! For the full-length video, check out their YouTube channel KOBOX London.
This is just the beginning for #PROUD, and the team have a lot of exciting events coming up to help raise awareness and funding for their official #PROUD partner - the incredible Rainbow Railroad. If you’re still unsure about what they do, check out their link here Rainbow Railroad.
In response to the confirmed reports of abductions, detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and deaths targeting more than 200 gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, Rainbow Railroad immediately went to action to assist those in danger.
Doug Fordyce, KOBOX trainer, said: "Growing up I had a lot of hatred towards myself. I didn't want to be gay. I was worried that people would view me as weak and effeminate.
"This often manifested itself in aggression and frustration. For me, the only way to deal with this was through competitive sport. It gave me an outlet to channel my emotions.
"After retiring from competing, there was a huge void in my life. I turned to fitness initially to help my mental state.
"This quickly turned into a career before eventually finding KOBOX. Initially I was massively apprehensive about putting myself forward to become a boxing trainer.
"As a gay man I felt that I wouldn't be accepted into this world. But this was purely down to my own preconceptions. KOBOX welcomed me in with open arms.
"I have never once been made to feel inadequate or as if I didn't belong here. I have been allowed to fully express myself, and be unapologetically me.
"Working on the PROUD campaign at KOBOX, has finally giving me the courage to fully embrace who I am.
"Hearing the incredible work that Rainbow Railroad do, it's made me realise how important it is (even in this day and age) for members of our community to speak out.
"I'm so lucky to have been born into a country where (on the most part) I am accepted into everyday life. Sadly this still isn't the case for millions of LGBTI people across the globe.
"With this in mind, I'm very humbled and PROUD to be a part of the campaign with KOBOX and Rainbow Railroad. I really hope we can raise the profile high enough to make a real difference to people's lives."
Watch Doug's interview below: