Belper Boxercise fundraising event out to beat cancer

Amanda Hughes (left) in a one-to-one session with her latest recruit for Box to Beat Cancerher 85-year-old grandma Jenni Hughes.
Amanda Hughes (left) in a one-to-one session with her latest recruit for Box to Beat Cancerher 85-year-old grandma Jenni Hughes.

A wellbeing consultant from Belper is throwing her weight behind a national fundraising campaign for ovarian cancer charities, with a sponsored Boxercise event next month.

Amanda Hughes, 46, will lead Box to Beat Cancer at Belper Town Football Club —which is providing the venue free—on Sunday, March 19.

She said: “This is something Boxercise instructors all over the country are doing, as a branch of the Ovarian Cancer Action group.

“I wanted to get involved because ovarian cancer is one where raising awareness can make the most difference.”

A woman dies every two hours from ovarian cancer in the UK, and sadly many of these deaths could be prevented if the condition was identified earlier.

More than a third of those women are diagnosed in A&E, when the condition is already in an advanced stage.

Amanda said: “So many of the symptoms are things that women experience regularly—bloating, pelvic pain, difficulty eating.

“That’s why it’s known as a silent killer. The more attention this gets, and the more money that goes into research, the more cases might be caught before it’s too late.”

Amanda is hoping to recruit 25 participants for the three-hour class, as she aims to raise £2,000.

It promises to be a great opportunity for both fitness freaks and armchair athletes.

She said: “My approach to everything I do is about bringing people together, and doing something that feels good.

“It’s easy to get intimidated by the idea of a perfect physique. So many people want to do something active or social, but they don’t dare. I like to make exercise fun—it has to be something you want to do.”

Amanda qualified as a Boxercise instructor last year but her business, House of Equilibrium, offers an extensive range of massage, movement, meditation and complementary therapies.

She said: “There’s a lot of crossover between mental and physical health, and I like to work with people on all levels.”

It reflects a change of pace for Amanda herself too, who left a high-powered project management role in the health sector in 2010 to start her new venture.

She said: “I downsized my house and everything else, and tried to get away from life being about money. I get so much more satisfaction from people’s feedback in this kind of work.

“We live in a stressful world, I know that as well as anyone. That’s why it’s important to have an outlet, where you can unwind safely.

Boxercise is particularly good, thinks Amanda, because it offers a full body workout: “People think it’s just the arms, but it strengthens and tones all over,” she said.

“It’s also a great release for anyone with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. It’s just a fantastic boost to the system, and I have students aged 17 to 65.”

To get people in the mood for the big event, Amanda is offering six-week introductory courses to Boxercise, with classes at the Splitz Centre in Belper, Heage Village Hall, or The Venue in Matlock.

For £30, people can get six classes, their own hand wraps, and free registration for the fundraising event.

Otherwise, Amanda is charging £10 to register for the event, and asking participants to raise £50 each in sponsorship—or £20 to take part for just one hour.

As an added incentive, she is also offering £10 off a massage to anyone taking part, and a free massage and one month of classes to whoever raises the most in sponsorship.

For more details, write to houseofequilibrium@gmail.com, call 07445 608767, or visit Amanda’s website at www.house-of-equilibrium.com.