AN ex-British boxing champion from Bromsgrove is launching a non-combat version of the sport to help people diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Charles Delve is an occupational therapy assistant for people with neurological conditions, and graduates as an occupational therapist later this year.

Eager to combine his degree and boxing expertise, the 27-year-old is launching ‘Box Positive’ in affiliation with Counterpunch Parkinson’s NZ to help ease the symptoms of those diagnosed with the disease.

He said: “As a boxing coach I have always wanted to use this as a way of giving people more independence in life.

“Boxing is helpful from a physical perspective. Movements target specific difficulties found in Parkinson’s such as problems with balance, posture, co-ordination and strength.

“It is also an exciting and vigorous activity, and research now suggests that vigorous exercise may protect dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain.

“In Parkinson’s disease there is a reduction of dopamine in the brain and this causes symptoms affecting physical and mental health.

“People become totally immersed in the activity of boxing as it takes mental focus along with physical action, and people regain a sense of control during the classes.

“This can then lead to an improvement in confidence and independence in everyday activities and may reduce the risks of falling.”

The idea of non-contact boxing to help people with Parkinson’s has already taken off in New Zealand and the USA.

Charles, who is a former under-19 British champion and has boxed for England, is eager to bring it to the UK and wants to see it recognised as an effective healthcare intervention.

He plans to take his sessions to clubs across the region once he has qualified, and has already secured a deal to deliver classes at the gym he boxed for, Droitwich Boxing Club.

Sessions will be tailored to the specific needs of each person, depending on what daily activities they find difficult.

Charles is asking any clubs interested in the sessions to email