Russell Scott Primary School pupils were treated to a knockout appearance from 3x Super Middleweight Champion Robin Reid last week.
As part of an anti-bullying campaign with Safety Guide Ltd, the 47-year-old, who won a bronze medal while representing Great Britain at the Olympics in 1992, gave an inspirational talk about his distinguished career and personal background.
Robin, who is better known in boxing circles as The Grim Reaper, told pupils how he used the bullying he received as a child to go and forge a successful career in the sport.
Robin, who has previously gone head-to-head with Carl Froch and Joe Calzaghe, believes the talk will resonate with pupils up and down the country. “I got bullied as a child form the age of 6-7, so I’m just trying to get the message out there that bullying isn’t the end of the world” said Robin.
“It doesn’t mean you have to resort to hitting people or fighting. I became a boxer for more reasons than that. It was about bringing out my confidence, improving my social skills, meeting new people and making friends. To be honest i think it brought the best out of me as a person as well.”
Bullying isn’t just restricted to playgrounds and class rooms. In fact, with the increase of social networking sites, online activity and messaging apps, which for millions of people searching for instant emotional gratification, have become an indispensable part of daily life. This has created a toxic online environment for cyber bullying – and Robin, along with other boxers such as Tyson Fury, despite their age and reputation inside the ring, aren’t immune to such abuse. He said: “I remember when Tyson uploaded a tweet about his potential comeback, and he was immediately hit with hundreds of negative comments.
“I had to refrain from messaging these people back – not in a nasty or aggressive manner – but I just wanted to ask them what their problem was. The guy is trying to do well for himself – yes, he’s had his problems and issues – but he’s trying to come back from that. Shouldn’t that be an inspiration to people? It baffles me as to why there are so many haters when somebody is trying to do something positive in life.”
Negative comments aside, Robin believes children should ignore the comments and use sport as a force for good. He said: “Whether its cricket, boxing, football or table tennis, children should take part in sport as it undoubtedly leads to a better life.”