We have operated as a registered charity since 2010 and work locally, nationally, and internationally to create opportunities for all ages through sport, fitness, health, and education. We are dedicated to inclusivity, positivity, and the community. IFA is a friendly accessible gym close to the heart of Derby. Our gym which is currently undergoing renovations consists of a cardio suite, weights and resistance area, ring, pads and bags for boxing and MMA, and a full range of equipment to use on our floor space. Our trained staff at the gym offer personal or group training sessions and they can guide you around the gym helping to achieve any personal goals you may have. Our One-Stop-Shop includes all the free digital resources we provide to the community including mental & physical health development classes as well as various sessions to get disadvantaged members of the community active with cooking, stories, blogs, & wellness.
2008 – After the success of his after-school boxing club in lowering the number of youth gangs on the street, and instances of crime, Samuel Godfrey left his job as a PE teacher to set up a boxing-club full time.
2009 – Formerly known as Splashfit, the IFA continued to directly target youth gangs and bring them into the club. Sam also receives the BBC Unsung hero award for Derby.
2010 – We became a registered charity and extended our reach to other disadvantaged and demoralised groups. We started delivering services for additional-needs and disability groups. Our feedback showcased that our members had improved confidence, social skills and wellbeing, increased physical mobility for wheelchair users, also an increased sense of inclusion.
2011 – Referral partnership with JobCentre Plus delivered employability sessions to help people aged 50+ who were computer-illiterate with creating digital CV’s, basic computer skills, and using Microsoft office with 100% completion rate. Over 40% gained employment within 2 months of completing the course.
2012 – Partnership with special-measures schools, boys’ homes and PRU’s (People Referral Units) and Oxford Brookes University. We delivered BTEC sports qualifications to young people living in boys homes, many who had no formal qualifications with issues of drug dependencies and behavioural issues including aggression, with backgrounds in violent behaviour. Despite initial resistance, the course had a 90% completion rate with some young people continuing with us to complete leaders and coaching qualifications. Some went on to join our club and continue to box with us, competing in our competitions. All express pride in achieving a qualification, for which they collected a nationally recognized certificate of education.
2013 – Ex-offenders’ rehabilitation project running workshops for people who had served long custodial-sentences along with volunteering and mentoring to help them reintegrate into society and to look for employment. They also completed community service with us, allowing them to gain life and employability skills during their work. We helped them to learn how to complete job applications and write cover letters and CVs. We also received seven out of eight awards in the Area Sports Awards including Young sports of the year and Coach of the year.
2014 – We conducted more research into the barriers to recreational activities for additional-needs groups. We build partnerships with more local groups such as local Autistic schools to deliver in-house private classes and started building networks to organize regional events.
2015 to Present – Inspire Fitness Academy is a Derby-based mental & physical health provider which offers digital & in-person physical & mental health classes, charity boxing events, support & guidance for special needs groups, and work experience opportunities. Due to the Coronavirus, our classes have gone online, this is due to a combination of reasons including worries about the safety of family members, individuals unable to attend classes due to financial difficulty, as well as individuals experiencing greater amounts of caring responsibilities. We cater to this through a variety of classes from cooking and music to our more popular classes in workouts and wellness.
Our Future – We wish to expand our operations and manage additional classes, allow us to offer work experience to students & local community members as well as showcase their skills on our platform, which will provide our audience with valuable lessons in a variety of classes. Firstly we will expand the number of volunteers, work experience, collaborations, & engagement we have across our platforms both digitally & in-person (once lockdown has eased). Secondly, we will plan for additional projects in the future including mental health support groups, targeting specific junior or older demographics to cater to more specialised classes towards them. Also, we will offer additional services that will support the most disadvantaged members of our community as we operate in the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country along with a predominantly BAME community. Our charity boxing events will continue to be an important part of how we support our community, using it as a source of catharsis for many ex-offenders that we work with. By expanding our staff, building upon our strengths, and ensuring that our content and opportunities are showcased to all that are willing to listen, we will successfully accomplish our aims…
- To assist both children and adults to find a positive outlet to reduce rates of drug-dependency, violent crime, and behavioural issues through exercise, well-being, boxing, work experience, & education.
- To engage with the most disadvantaged members of the community and ensure they have opportunities in education, work, and activities to help them develop as individuals.
- To improve the lives of members of the community who may be suffering from a lack of exercise, mental health, loneliness, or lack of opportunity through expert advice and assistance, in-person and online classes, as well as boxing events, charity, & work experience positions.
Join us on our journey and help us to expand our services and help even more people than we have done in previous years.