Neil’s Blog: What Boxing has given to Sam and Tom

Health / Sat 25th Mar 2023 at 04:21pm

RECENTLY, when we were filming down at Harlow Boxing Club, when we saw Neill O’Dell with two people he cares for. Sam and Tom.

So we asked Neil to put in his own words, how the boxing sessions were going?

Neil said: “Sam has Parda Willie syndrome which is fairly rare and presents very challenging behaviour issues for himself others around him.

It also contains an acute eating disorder in which he never feels full so can eat constantly anything that is around. Literally! 

“I was asked if I could try to help as he was beginning to run out of options as far as support was concerned because of behaviour and attitude problems.

“I worked through various strategies and scenarios to help support Sam, one of which I have used before whilst working with troubled teenagers with positive results which was the boxing club.

“It promotes a fully rounded fun fitness routine which also incorporates listening to instructions, respectful behaviour, commitment to time management and self worth . Plus giving themselves confidence in self defence skills.

“Sam lost almost six stone in body weight from a programme I put together which included swimming, gym, boxing plus a healthy eating regime.

This was in no small way helped by the encouragement and commitment of the Harlow Boxing Club and coaches which included Graham and Paul who were patient and diligent in the way they have encouraged and nurtured both Sam and Tom.

“Tom has Cerebral Palsy amongst other issues and is a wheelchair-user but expressed an interest in following Sam’s successful boxing adventure”.

For more details regarding Harlow Boxing Club, click below.


“I have always stated that any of my clients should never be defined by their condition and everything should be attempted regardless of anything.

“Tom enjoys joining in with club sessions with everyone else and is treated the same as anyone else.

“The club is proving beyond doubt that it is totally inclusive, as it’s attendees show a true eclectic range of Harlow and beyond.

It is a massive benefit to Harlow and has been for generations.

Perhaps the club, its coaches and staff, who all give up their time for free, are not given the acclaim they deserve.

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2 Comments for Neil’s Blog: What Boxing has given to Sam and Tom:

Tony Durcan
2023-03-25 19:53:36

As a local neighbour of Sam we all have seen a positive improvement in his confidence and attitude. I spoke to Sam only last week and he was telling how much energy he gets from being with Neil. Making a difference.

2023-03-26 09:00:37

Good work Neil keep it up.

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