Boxer Nigel Benn Delivers Knockout Talk On Visit To Leicester
Former double-weight world boxing champion Nigel Benn was a huge hit at an event hosted recently in Leicester by Ingeus, which delivers justice services across the city.
More than 60 guests joined Nigel at the Voluntary Action Leicester office on Newarke Street. They included people on probation and youth programmes; Ingeus peer mentors and staff with lived experience of the criminal justice system; and representatives from the police, prison service, and violence reduction network. Attending on behalf of Ingeus partner Pure Insights International, he spoke candidly about his own life and talked at length with those attending.
Now living in Australia, Nigel was born in East London and described the repressed anger he felt after the death of his 17-year-old brother when he was just eight years old; a traumatic event that rocked his family. He recalled the self-discipline he learned serving in the army and how he transferred this to his boxing career, winning his first 22 fights by knockout and earning him plaudits as one of the greatest Super Middleweights of all time. Yet describing how his chaotic behaviour almost cost him everything, including the loss of his family, Nigel spoke with emotion about his love for his wife, and his faith.
The former champion has since dedicated the last 20 years to charity work, counselling people with addiction and marital issues. He is visiting the UK to support his son Connor Benn, a welterweight fighter, with whom he shares ‘an breakable bond’.
“My faith and family have given me the chance to re-build my life,” said Nigel. “The high I get from helping others means more to me than any of my boxing accolades."
“Changing your mindset can help you achieve anything and if I can influence just one person’s life for the better then that’s good enough for me.”
Working with specialist partners and the probation service, Ingeus delivers Commissioned Rehabilitative Services to help people on probation settle back into their communities across the East Midlands. Support with physical and mental wellbeing is crucial to remove obstacles to rehabilitation. Pure Insights International provides counselling services to Ingeus participants.
“Nigel’s courage and resilience shone through; you could hear a pin drop at times,” says Adam Hart, Chief Operating Officer of Ingeus UK, who attended the event. “We were delighted he could spend the afternoon inspiring and motivating our participants – they were hooked!”
As part of its Commissioned Rehabilitative Services contract, Ingeus delivers personal wellbeing services in the East Midlands (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire), West Midlands (Staffordshire, Warwickshire), Yorkshire and the Humber (West Yorkshire, Humberside) and the North East (Northumbria).