The organiser of a Belper Boxercise marathon says the event has raised at least £3,500 for the fight against ovarian cancer.
Instructor Amanda Hughes, 46, hosted the three-hour Box2Beat Cancer class at Belper Town Football Club on Sunday, March 19.
A squad of 20 boxers took part, ranging in age from 30 to 86, united by one goal.
Amanda said: “It was absolutely fantastic, it was such a supportive atmosphere and so many different parts of the community got involved.
“The highest fundraiser made £460, which is amazing - but the biggest thing was that it got everyone talking about the cause and how to stay healthy.”
The event was part of a national Boxercise initiative to coincide with Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and the funds raised will go towards vital research into cures and care for cancer patients.
Amanda qualified as a Boxercise instructor in 2016, adding to her health and wellbeing business - and has been building up her class schedule in Belper ever since. On Sunday, around half of those taking part had never tried the programme before.
Amanda and her team of volunteer coaches took the group through a rigorous regime of punching techniques, shadow boxing, musical combinations, pad work and a circuit of 20 exericses - but the smiles never left their faces.
Amanda said: “I was so proud of them all, and everyone was thrilled to realise what they’ve done and what how much they’d contributed. It was a privilege to share the moment with them.
“It was a real test, but everyone kept going to the end. I think we finished with more energy than we started, it was such a good atmosphere.”
She added: “Enjoyment and support is the key to my approach, if people were nervous before they started they soon realised there was no need to be.
“Everyone was working together and having a laugh, I try to encourage them not to take exercise too seriously or feel like they need to conform. It’s a healthy attitude.”
The event also brought together the local business community, who contributed prizes, refreshments, facilities and organisational support.
Amanda said: “I’ve lived in Belper for eight years, but doing this event has made me more friends than in all that time.
“I couldn’t have done it without Paul from the football club, Morrisons, Tesco, Beaurepaire Patisserie, J’adore Ma Via, Fresh Basil, I Should Cocoa, the Railway Tea Rooms and so many others.”
Moroccan restaurant Olive donated a free meal for two to top fundraiser Maria Marsden and the second highest, Sophie Baker, will enjoy a trip to Nonnos. Everyone who took part got a free medal from Wizard Engraving in Heanor.
Amanda is currently running boxing fitness classes at Vanessa’s School of Dance on Tuesdays at 1.30pm.
She will be starting a new Monday lunchtime session in Crich on March 27, and an evening session at Vanessa’s from 6pm on April 3 - plus pilates at Splitz, starting 6pm, Thursday, March 30.
To find out more about Amanda’s classes, registration and personal coaching services, visit www.house-of-equilibrium.com or call 07445 608767.