PRO boxing trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick has launched a new self-defence course for the town’s women.

The Irishman, who runs Fitzpatrick’s Boxing Gym, in Ferndale Road, has started a new course for women-only called Self-Awareness for Women Everywhere, which is referred to as SAFE.

He has also launched another for young people looking to learn about how the boxing business works, including contracts.

Paddy, who has worked with stars such as former WBA Heavyweight champion David Haye, said he had been running an informal women’s course for several years but thought the time was right to offer somethng more formal.

He said: “The course is aimed at giving women of all ages a chance to get fit and learn some self-defence and self-awarness.

“We have had several who have been coming to the gym for years and they may be from abusive backgrounds or just want to be able to protect themselves so we offer them the chance to do that in a safe environment.

“People associate a gym with being macho, but we show them that they can come in and be in that environment and be comfortable.

“A lot of what we do is just teaching them control – how to control your emotions is important when someone is shouting abuse at you and what have you.”

Fitzpatrick’s Boxing Gym already offers courses to school-leavers aged 16 to 19 that will see them gain the equivalent of four GCSEs and a coaching badge.

The courses started in Septem-ber 2011, offering a BTEC level 2 diploma course and level 2 NVQ in boxing coaching and will see his students graduate later this month. But now Paddy says he wants to school young people in the way the business runs, so they can avoid the pitfalls of dealing with complex issues.

He said: “That course is open to boys and girls aged 16 and above to give them an understanding of the sport itself and how it works. So what does the promoter do and how does he make his money?

“What does the manager do? What responsibilities does the fighter have?

“So what I will do is get for example Mike Tyson’s contract out and go through it and explain what things mean and how it can go wrong – so they know what to look out for in the business itself.”

For information on the course or other details on the gym, call 07917104000 or email info@