International stars become sports mentors at school

PACKING A PUNCH -- National Academy lads Oliver George (left) and Harry Ratcliffe welcome former professional boxer Dermot Gascoyne and international rugby league star Paul Broadbent -- DISPIC NHUD11-3342-1

PACKING A PUNCH -- National Academy lads Oliver George (left) and Harry Ratcliffe welcome former professional boxer Dermot Gascoyne and international rugby league star Paul Broadbent -- DISPIC NHUD11-3342-1

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A BOXER who was once a sparring partner of former world champions Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis was in Hucknall to deliver a knockout blow as part of a sports-mentoring programme.

Dermot Gascoyne, who was an international heavyweight, is now heavily involved with the initiative, Respect Athlete Mentoring Programme (RAMP).

As part of the scheme, he paid a visit to the National Church of England Academy on Annesley Road to work with pupils.

He was joined by former rugby league star Paul Broadbent, who represented Great Britain in the 1990s, as well as playing for several top-flight clubs. Broadbent is now head coach of the Italian national team.

The aim of RAMP is to give children — and particularly those who are disadvantaged — an insight into the world of professional sport and how it can change their lives.

RAMP is specially designed for local schools and community groups, utilising inspirational members of a panel of elite sportsmen and women as role-models and mentors.

Gascoyne and Broadbent chatted with several pupils at National and explained how their lives had been altered through sport.

They then enjoyed some sporting fun with the children, including some mock sparring.