10 community boxing clubs in the UK benefit from donations of SPARBAR® training equipment as the UK born brand continues to support grass roots boxing.
Reagan Oliver, local amateur boxing prodigy became national champion at 16, spent jail time at 17, now at 23 is back to winning ways reaching the English national final in a inspiring u turn swapping the streets to the podium.
Sparbar, Inc., the North American distributor and IP licensee of the UK-created SPARBAR®-brand boxing and fitness equipment, officially introduces the first ambassador in the history of the SPARBAR® brand, Reagan Oliver (UK), who celebrates his comeback in the ring after a time-out in jail. SPARBAR® brand founder and president Jasvinder “Jazz” Gill took the opportunity to fully kit out Reagan’s local boxing gym and 9 other UK based grassroots boxing gyms who play a considerable role taking kids off the streets and preventing them from a life of crime.
Aston ABC, an amateur boxing club in Birmingham, UK, is one of the 10 grass root gyms to benefit from full kit out donations from the SPARBAR® brand in the 1st quarter of 2022.
Aston ABC was established as a boxing club in 1908, producing national champions ever since, and formally opened as a community hub for engagement through all sorts of sports by Prince William, Duke Of Cambridge in 2014.
Jazz about the concept: “A community club brings together communities that in normal circumstances would not usually interact. It uses sport as the vehicle to break down barriers, proving that the power of sport changes lives.”
Jazz is spearheading the community projects at SPARBAR® and donated the SPARBAR® brand’s full range of premium SB1 vintage & midnight black collections of SPARBAR PRO 4X, punch bags and training accessories to Aston ABC.
“An important message I wanted to support with the replacement of equipment at Aston ABC as appreciation for Reagan Oliver, who is a shining example that the past does not determine your future. He has always been a great kid, sometimes being so young it’s easy to get caught up in the streets and get derailed. What he’s achieved is remarkable just on raw talent, now with the level of dedication he has a very bright future,” Jazz said.
John Homer, head coach at Aston ABC since 1993, trains kids starting from 5 years old to become national champions, and also hosts boxing fitness classes for people in their 60s, women classes, and a competitive female section, the UK’s largest female squad called “Fight Like A Girl” which is regularly attended by over 50 girls.
When asked about Reagan, John talks about how he joined Aston as a young boy. Once Reagan decided boxing was his main sport and became competitive at the age of 14 he won the English junior national development title within 18 months. Then came a break which John refers to. “Reagan went down a bad road for a while.“
“I got in trouble with the police stealing cars, and went back and forth to jail,” says Reagan, who is now back on the right track training at Aston and an accompanying gym for strength and conditioning full-time. He inspires people through social media with his laser focussed training sessions. “If you actually knew the type of kid I was, you wouldn’t believe it,” Reagan says.
Today, Reagan is 23 years old, and has two little kids. The mother of his children drives him to the several gym sessions daily, and often stays with the kids in the car for their nap time. Money is tight since amateur boxing doesn’t pay. “The nationals are coming up, and now I’m going for the elite level,” Reagan says and adds: “What I’m doing is hard, but I tell my girlfriend if I stick to it we will reap the rewards for sure. She believes in me.”
So does John, his coach who reports once Reagan came back in September 2021 he started competing and won Midlands champion, then became a national finalist in no time. “It was very quick. Boxers traditionally have to deal with “ring rust” but he did well, competed well, progressed in the competition,” John says.
Reagan and Jazz met in 2015 when Jazz joined the Aston ABC club to introduce the SPARBAR® PRO to the Club’s boxers. “Reagan took to it like a duck to water. He is fast. Super fast,” says Jazz, and he asked Reagan to join him on the launch tour of the SPARBAR® brand at three of Europe’s biggest sports exhibitions. A video of Regan’s intense workout with the original SPARBAR® PRO went viral, helping to contribute to SPARBAR®’s rapid name recognition and acceptance by the combat sports community.
“Jazz always went onto me, he always knew that I could go places,” Reagan reports. “I was young and thought I knew it all. I always knew it was boxing, but today I have my ‘why‘ which is I need to provide for my family.” To take his mind off boxing during rests Reagan records rap songs. “Keep it solid like a family“ and “I can’t see them growing up in the street” you can hear in his lyrics.
The team at SPARBAR® strongly believes in boxing and general sports activities as the best way to get kids off the streets having a positive impact. Next to the kids & youth development programs, Jazz has launched the community-focused boxing gym donation program.
As part of the SPARBAR® brand’s sponsoring program to support grassroots amateur boxing gyms, gyms that were donated full equipment include Aston ABC, Clearys ABC, Sandwell College, Glyn Rhodes MBE’s Sheffield Boxing Centre, Hall Green ABC, Birtley Boxing Club and Atlantic City PAL (Police Athletic League), as of the first quarter of 2022.