John's Story

John Bowden

Amateur boxer John is looking forward to a bright future after completing two years on the Greater Manchester Talent Match programme with Breakthrough UK.

John, who has worked on overcoming a number of barriers, has also finished an apprenticeship with YMCA in Horticulture, and has been offered further work in gardening as a result.

John said: “I’ve got more confidence and everything that has come from the apprenticeship, skills and social situations as well.

“I feel happy I’m moving forward. I’m not quite there as a person, but getting there. I'm looking a bit sturdier in my life now.”

Volunteering with Stockport Amateur Boxing Club has given John a boost too. His responsibilities include boxing coaching and sparring, physical fitness, technique, stretches and warming up and down.

John gardeningHe has his level 1 ABA coaching qualification and helps with pads, circuits and jogging runs, plus supporting competition nights and driving competitors to national events.

Talent Coach at Breakthrough Richard Phillips said: “John has come a long way, showing great determination and resilience to get there.

“John has a lovely personality, and as long as he makes use of the support from others and continues to share things, will have a bright future.”

Although John’s time with Greater Manchester Talent Match is coming to an end, he feels he’s able to take his personal development further by going to a local support group. He is also doing a First Aid course, and plans to get his licence for safely using pesticides, making a big difference to his career opportunities.

John said: “I’m a lot further on than I was. I’m starting to get going with getting towards where I want to be. I’m happy with where I’m going.”

Read more stories from people involved in Greater Manchester Talent Match by clicking here.