David Gray hits the bag with coach Calum Harper

Fighting back

A boxing club is leading the fightback against Parkinson's

A Rutherglen gym is fighting back against Parkinson’s with a revolutionary boxing-inspired exercise programme.

Rock Steady Boxing Glasgow has developed a non-contact boxing based fitness routine which is dramatically improving the ability of people with Parkinson’s to live independent lives.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder which leaves patients less able to direct or control their movements. A lot of research into the disease is related to drug studies, but in recent years more attention has been devoted to the importance of exercise in maintaining and improving the patient’s quality of life.

George Riley and Stuart Dixon


Participants at the gym in have noticed some incredible benefits, sometimes for days after a session.

There have been examples of participants being able to stand for a much longer periods of time, experiencing reduced shaking, improved co-ordination, balance and overall fitness.

Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) was founded in Indianapolis in 2006 to provide an effective form of physical exercise to people who are living with Parkinson’s. RSB Glasgow is the first RSB programme in the UK and there are nearly 750 Rock Steady programmes in 13 countries worldwide.

The man who has brought the programme to Scotland is Stuart Dixon, who witnessed it first hand at RSB’s headquarters in Indianapolis where he was trained.

Stuart has been delighted with the progress of the Glasgow project since it started up, he said: "It's really exciting to be able to bring the benefits of the Rock Steady Boxing to this country and to give people with Parkinson’s the opportunity to fight back against this awful disease.

“Our workouts are great fun and boxing gives people a real buzz.

"The classes have proven that anyone, at any level of Parkinson's, can actually lessen their symptoms and lead a healthier, happier life."

Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “We see time and again that sport has the power to change lives and being physically active is one of the best things we can do for our physical and mental health.

“At sportscotland we believe sport should enable anyone to play regardless of age, ability or where they come from. We strive to ensure sport is at the heart of society in Scotland and makes a lasting and positive impact on people and communities.

David Gray and coach Calum Harper

“It’s great to see such a good example of that at Rock Steady Boxing Glasgow.

"This project is showing that sport and physical activity can make a meaningful difference to the lives of people living with Parkinson’s.”

Chief executive of Boxing Scotland, Fraser Walker, said: “Boxing Scotland is delighted to welcome Rock Steady Boxing Glasgow as one of our affiliated clubs. We have worked closely with Rock Steady Boxing Glasgow in order to be the first governing body in the UK to affiliate a club dedicated to making a difference to individuals that suffer from Parkinson’s disease. This is in line with our vision “To Include, Influence and Inspire”.

“I am proud that our sport can make a huge difference and have such a positive impact to the lives of people living with Parkinson’s.

“The affiliation of Rock Steady Boxing Glasgow shows that Boxing Scotland is fully committed to ensuring that the positive message the sport can be portrayed across a wide range of medical and social issues.

“Boxing as a Sport is continuing to break down barriers. The wide reach of boxing related projects continues to grow with a lasting and positive impact on people and their communities.”

Find out more

About Rocket Steady Glasgow and boxing opportunities in your area at Boxing Scotland.


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