Episode #39: Anna Cain – Boxing clever for the youngsters failed by the system

16 July 2019

Anna Cain, The Boxing Academy

In this episode, I talk to Anna Cain, chief executive of the Boxing Academy, a unique and groundbreaking school for the most hard-to-reach young people, realised through the discipline and ethos of boxing.

Anna is also an advisory board member for Feltham Young Offenders institution, a trustee of the campus educational trust and a trustee of chefs in schools.

In this interview, we talk about her remarkable story of how she got to where she is and what she learned along the way. We talk about successful educational approaches to young people who, for whatever reason, are failed by the mainstream system, and why the Boxing Academy has been so successful in making a difference to that particularly vulnerable group.

Show notes

What did the world look like to the young Anna when she left school and looked ahead to adult life? (1:45)

How life changed when she adopted her son after his brush with death (5:11)

How Anna ended up diverting from a potential career in the sciences to the Boxing Academy (10:52)

How to maintain confidence in the face of knock-backs, and how Anna became CEO (15:40)

How the Boxing Academy works (20:48)

Why does it so successfully reach the individuals that are so much failed by the mainstream system? (23:36)

The journey of a young person through the Boxing Academy experience (29:07)

What lessons can be drawn from Anna’s experience for wider government education policy? (33:17)

Is it too late to help a young person once they’ve ended up at a young offenders institution? (35:55)

The additional challenges of gang culture and knife crime (37:42)

Ambitions for the next decade (41:26)


The Boxing Academy website http://www.theboxingacademy.co.uk

Boxing Academy on twitter https://twitter.com/boxing_academy?lang=en

Boxing Academy on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/theboxingacademy/