Retired local boxer, Dave Earle, visited hair and beauty students on Friday (13 January) to talk about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
The five times Home Counties amateur boxing champ also works with Turning Point, an organisation that helps people who struggle with alcohol or drug addictions.
Rita Cronin, teacher at Banbury and Bicester College, said: “Dave discussed his own experiences, including how he was raised by his dad after his alcoholic mum left. He explained that although he didn't do well at school, boxing helped him to focus his life as he’d found something he loved.
“He was very open and talked about how his sister’s and her children's lives unfortunately followed the path of his mother. This drew attention to life circles and how the choices we make in life can define us.
“His visit included other stories of people who had succeeded and some who had unfortunately taken their lives or lost them to drink or drugs. These tales reached the students and made them understand more about the dangers of drink and drugs and how many lives it effects when people choose these paths.
“The aim of the discussion was to help students understand how important it is to find their motivation and how following their desires and interests will greatly improve their chances of success. Since this talk the students have started thinking more about the future and the important decisions they have to make coming to the end of their programme.”
Dave Earle owns Banbury boxing and fitness club, Spit’n’Sawdust. His accolades have included being selected to carry the Olympic torch and meeting the Queen. He said: “My own family has a history of addiction and being amongst it I feel I can understand it. I have seen a lot of people who are just wasting their lives. I want people to see how they can have a new sense of direction.”
Following good feedback, there are plans for Dave and Turning Point to return to speak to more students at the Broughton Road college.