Worthing gym praised for supporting children with challenging behaviours at My Choice Children’s Homes

Staff from My Choice Children's Homes at The Bar Gym in Worthing
Staff from My Choice Children's Homes at The Bar Gym in Worthing

A Worthing gym has been praised for its work supporting children with challenging behaviours.

Mike O’Hagan was happy to help My Choice Children’s Homes with its summer olympics, including kickboxing training at The Bar Gym, in Bath Place, Worthing.

Staff from My Choice Children's Homes at The Bar Gym in Worthing

Staff from My Choice Children's Homes at The Bar Gym in Worthing

My Choice, based in Haywards Heath, is a group of nine children’s homes in Sussex and Surrey. The summer olympics were launched last year, giving the young people the opportunity to compete in various planned activities, with a prize for the winning home.

Director Dawn Ives​ said: “We support children who present with varying challenging behaviours and can find it very difficult to engage with others for many reasons.

“The events are planned by each homes manager and one of these was kickboxing at Bar Gym in Worthing.

“This event was made so successful because one of the owners and trainers was so fantastic with our children, he engaged them individually as well as a group and just had such a natural and easy way of working with them that it made the whole event something everyone enjoyed.

“The staff also take part in these events and everyone came away exhausted but having had a great time. The Summer Olympics gives our children a focus for what can be a long holiday and people supporting all the different events, like Mike at Bar Gym did, makes it so much easier for the children to relax and enjoy it.

“All the children absolutely loved it and even with a few meltdowns, Mike managed to complete the session and all thanked Mike and said they would love to go back.”

The gym team has been working with some of the children for more than three years, through one-to-one tuition.

Dawn said: “Some of them have managed to grade and get their belts, and many of them have gone on to carry on kickboxing when they have moved on, mainly because of the positive experience they have had at this particular gym.

“We cannot praise Mike enough for his interaction with the children from ages eight to 18. He is calm, friendly, passionate, enthusiastic and so easy to talk to, he is a brilliant role model.

“The children find it really easy to talk to him as he is so inspirational. Mike even brought some gloves for one of our children who had done well in her GSCEs.”

The Bar Gym has recently become a registered charity. Visit www.thebargym.co.uk for more information.