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Former soldier opens boxing club in hopes to inspire others living with PTSD

PUBLISHED: 16:11 06 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:17 06 January 2018

Former soldier Adam Ward has overcome PTSD and depression through boxing and is now helping others. Picture: Nick Butcher

Former soldier Adam Ward has overcome PTSD and depression through boxing and is now helping others. Picture: Nick Butcher

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A former soldier who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has opened a boxing gym in the hopes his story of recovery can help inspire those currently living with the condition.

Adam Ward during his time in the Armed Forces, Photo courtesy of Adam Ward, Adam Ward during his time in the Armed Forces, Photo courtesy of Adam Ward,

Adam Ward, originally from Norwich, opened Southwold Boxing Club, at the Scout Hut in Mights Road, Southwold, late last year.

He served in the First Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment from 2004 to 2011 – completing a tour of Afghanistan in 2007.

It was during this tour of duty Mr Ward went through the traumatic experiences which led to his PTSD.

He said: “I knew I had a problem from 2010 onwards but you just put it to the back of your mind.”

Former soldier Adam Ward has overcome PTSD and depression through boxing and is now helping others.
Picture: Nick Butcher Former soldier Adam Ward has overcome PTSD and depression through boxing and is now helping others. Picture: Nick Butcher

Over time Mr Ward’s mental health worsened with a pattern of self-destructive behaviour culminating in a suicide attempt in 2016.

However, through the completion of a 16-week course with The Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing Project in early 2017, the 32-year-old acquired the knowledge and skills to help live with the condition.

The Walnut Tree provides recovery activities, coaching and mentoring to military veterans and others who have experienced out of the ordinary traumatic experiences.

Mr Ward said: “It gives you the tools to live with PTSD and not just try to mask it.

Adam Ward shows 7-year-old Imogen Manning the ropes. Photo courtesy of Adam Ward. Adam Ward shows 7-year-old Imogen Manning the ropes. Photo courtesy of Adam Ward.

“By providing you with an understanding of the anger and anxiety that comes with PTSD it helps you to control it.

“I want people with PTSD to realise if they ask for help there is a life while having it.”

Mr Ward now runs the boxing club six days a week, providing mixed, ladies and junior classes.

He said: “Boxing has so many benefits, it’s not just the fitness side, it allows you to release any stress and anger.

Former soldier Adam Ward has overcome PTSD and depression through boxing and is now helping others.
Picture: Nick Butcher Former soldier Adam Ward has overcome PTSD and depression through boxing and is now helping others. Picture: Nick Butcher

“I’m training around 40 kids at the minute and I love seeing them progress.”

Mr Ward highlighted the importance of the club as he continues to cope with his condition.

He said: “It has given me something to grasp on to. I can’t shut now, I’m doing something the community needed and didn’t have before.”

For more information on the boxing club call 07748 445521 or email southwoldboxingclub@gmail.com

Former soldier Adam Ward has overcome PTSD and depression through boxing and is now helping others.
Picture: Nick Butcher Former soldier Adam Ward has overcome PTSD and depression through boxing and is now helping others. Picture: Nick Butcher

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