Who are the Idris Elba’s Fight School contestants and who are the coaches?



World-renowned actor and musician Idris Elba is taking eight young Brits under his wing. All have unique challenges and want to improve their future.

Fight School is Elba’s latest project that is inspired by how young people in South Africa were empowered and transformed by the introduction of a local boxing club. Elba has now implemented his own bespoke Fight School in the UK that will help arm his recruits with discipline, ambition and mental resilience, enabling them to acquire new life skills and change their lives.

Who are the contestants for Elba’s Fight School and who will they be coached by? Here’s everything you need to know.

Who are the Idris Elba’s Fight School contestants?

Chanika, 29, East London

Chanika found boxing “mentally and physically” stimulating. She joined Fight School to help her heal and move on from a traumatic past.

As the eldest out of all contestants she persistently reminded herself of the reason she joined the school, “I was determined to show other young women who have been through what I have been through to keep on going.” she said.

Finlay, 19, Hamilton, Scotland

For Finlay this was the chance to have a new focus and change direction. Having just come out of jail this opportunity couldn’t have arrived at a more appropriate time.

Although he had boxed on and off he had never stuck to it, the training was “intense” he shares. “It was a lot to go from sitting on a couch, which I had been doing, to then doing 11 sessions a week”

Jess, 25, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales

Jess needed a change after a turbulent childhood. She shares Fight School was one of the “highlights” of her life. “I met people I would never have spoken to in a million years and I did something I never thought I would do. It has made me feel happier in myself, I have lost weight, it has given me confidence to make the changes in my life.” she added.

Kerryn, 25, West London

Although “apprehensive beforehand” Kerryn wanted a new challenge. Her favorite part of the process was boxing.

In terms of having Elba as a mentor she shared: “He was very reassuring and a great motivator. We come from similar upbringings and to have someone you can relate to and who has your best intentions was great.”

Naeem, 18, Oldham

Naeem shared that taking part in Fight School gave him “confidence” and learned that picking up the sport of boxing in five months meant he can pick up new things.

Sophie, 29, Solihull

Sophie wanted to take part in Fight School to channel her anger and emotions into something positive. As a single mum, it was tough for her to leave her daughter behind her but her ultimate goal at Fight School was to make her proud of her.

Zeb, 24, North West London

Fight School was an opportunity for Zeb to get back into boxing. Elba was a “good motivator” for Zeb to get the ball rolling.

Katie, 23, Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Growing up with five brothers who were into boxing, Katie was never allowed to box because she was a girl, this was her opportunity to prove them wrong.

Ash, 28, Wirral

Ash is another contestant who will be appearing in Fight School but no further details about him have been made public at the time of writing.

Who are the coaches?

The contestants will be mentored by Greg White and Rachel Bower. White, 35, is Head Coach at Rathbone and Camden Boxing Club. He first started boxing “to keep out of trouble with the police” and credits training, discipline and community in turning his life around.

He started boxing at 12 and by the time he was 16 was boxing at Lynn AC ABC, before taking his amateur boxing career to the US.

Bower, 39, is Head of Amateur Boxing at Rathbone and Hawley ABC; an England Talent Pathway Coach and a Met Police Detective Sergeant. Bower found boxing at 23, when she searched for a new challenge to fit around her unsociable police-force hours.

It wasn’t long before she found herself training for the Met Police team. She won the Elite National Championships, and added medals in two World Police and Fire Games to her titles.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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