Support worker Hayden and customer Aaron make a boxing dream team

Support worker Hayden and customer Aaron make a boxing dream team

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Accommodation customer Aaron and Activ support worker Hayden Wright have turned an impromptu lockdown activity into one of Aaron’s favourite hobbies.

After the Perth five-day lockdown was announced in February, Hayden and Aaron both wanted to find an activity for Aaron to stay busy and active throughout the week, which also focused on Aaron’s health and fitness goals.

As Hayden is an avid boxer when not working for Activ, teaching Aaron to box was the perfect way to stay physically and mentally healthy during this time.

Gyms were closed during lockdown, so Hayden brought in some of his own equipment to start teaching Aaron to box, and Aaron “had the time of his life,” said Hayden.

“We started off by focusing on hand-eye coordination, learning different techniques for boxing and how to do it safely,” said Hayden. This was really important to Aaron, who was able to use his new hobby to take his mind off of being inside for the week.

Once lockdown ended, Hayden found a boxing gym nearby where he and Aaron go to train. Going to the gym not only supports a healthy lifestyle, but it has also been great for Aaron to access the community and make new friends.

During boxing sessions, Hayden works with Aaron to go over the skills they covered in previous weeks, and once Aaron has them perfected, they work on something new.

Aaron’s favourite thing about boxing is “punching on the bag and learning to use the pads,” said Aaron. After a couple months of training, Aaron is enjoying learning to box so much so that he’s having a go at being the trainer, giving tips to Hayden, as well as developing skills to confidently hold the pads for Hayden or his housemates to use.

Hayden’s team leader Karen Sidebottom saw how much Aaron and his housemates were enjoying learning new skills and kicking their health and fitness goals, and assisted Hayden in setting up a home outdoor boxing gym at the Activ accommodation home. Set up in the undercover outside area, the gym has boxing and sporting equipment for everyone in the house to use.

Since the introduction of boxing sessions to help achieve Aaron’s goal of keeping fit, Hayden has noticed growth in Aaron’s confidence and independence in other areas of his life too.

“He’s overall a lot more confident, especially as he’s wanting to teach his housemates some skills and tell me what to do! I’ve also noticed a positive difference in his mobility and core strength, which is great for him to be able to do other activities outside of boxing too,” said Hayden.

This great result is testament to what’s possible when support staff are able to draw from their own skills to help our customers achieve their independence goals.

“I think it’s really important to try to align our life experiences and interests to our customers’ goals,” said Hayden. “I’ve been supporting Aaron for almost eight years and seeing him so happy and confident whilst he’s kicking his goals and helping his mates to do so as well is amazing.”

Activ’s CEO, Danielle Newport, recently visited the house to catch up with the customers and staff, and was very impressed with Aaron’s boxing moves.

“It was fantastic to see how proud Aaron is of his hard work and to see how much he is enjoying learning to box. I thoroughly enjoyed learning some tips from both Aaron and Hayden!” said Danielle.

We’re so excited to see where Aaron’s love for boxing will take him on his journey to independence!