Brixton boxer Isaac Chamberlain is to join forces with Surrey County Cricket Club and the ACE Programme to try his hand at a different sport altogether: Cricket.
The 28-year-old Cruiserweight will put down the boxing gloves and pick up the cricket bat in a special training session with the ACE Programme to spread the message of the vital role sport plays in keeping young people on the right path.
Chamberlain, nickname ‘IC’, has been a long-time campaigner for improving access to sport for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and through his work with the ‘Gloves Up, Knives Down’ charity has tried to help stamp out knife crime in London by preaching the virtues of boxing and the discipline it can instil.
Prior to his turn with a cricket ball, the south-London puncher will first meet with ACE Director of Programmes Chevy Green for a brief tour of The Kia Oval, his local cricket ground, before heading down to the Ken Barrington Centre indoor nets.
Once there, Chamberlain will be met by a selection of young people from the ACE Programme and a few of Surrey County Cricket Club’s finest professionals to be put through his paces. He will try his hand at wicket-keeping and bowling before putting on the pads and facing a professional bowler. Stay tuned to the Surrey socials to see how he gets on.
IBF International Cruiserweight Champion, and former European and Commonwealth contender, Isaac Chamberlain said: “I’m super competitive, so I’m pretty excited to try my hand at a different sport. I think the power, reflexes, and athleticism I’ve gained in boxing will transfer well to cricket, but we’ll see!
“I’m looking forward to learning more about the work of the ACE Programme, and how they’re helping use sport to reach out to young people across the country. Getting involved with sport gave me self-confidence, allowed me to express myself and gave me a way out of the negative path I was on as a young man.
“For me, my gift was boxing, but for others it might be cricket, so it’ll be good to see the work that’s going on at The Kia Oval and help in any way I can. If by getting involved I can help introduce a young person to cricket, and give them a new sporting avenue to explore, then that’d be fantastic.”
Director of Programme’s at ACE, Chevy Green said: “I’m a big boxing fan so it’ll be great to meet with Isaac, but I’m especially interested to hear his thoughts on how sport can improve life outcomes for children and young people.
“At ACE we try and show cricket is a game for everyone and encourage participation and inclusivity at all levels of the game. In particular, we try and reach out to the black community and give young black kids a route into a sport and show it’s a viable option for them to get involved regardless of their circumstances.
“Isaac has an inspirational back story and will have his own unique perspective on accessibility in sport. With Isaac being such a local lad, I think our ACE kids will really relate to him.
“For the children present, hearing first-hand about his discipline, resilience and commitment will be great motivation to keep on their own sporting path.”