Hospital porter Shaun Hill will jump into the ring for a once in a lifetime charity fight on Friday, raising cash for the Children’s Hospital, Sheffield.
Shaun, 47, spends his days helping take children to theatre at the hospital, but after work has been spending the last 13 weeks counting down to Charity Fight Night 7, his first competitive fight in the ring.
The father-of-two coached at Sheffield Lane Top Boxing Club for ten years until he retired last year, but never took to the ring himself. But now he is putting on his gloves to raise money for the Children’s Hospital.
Shaun has been inspired by watching the children he sees winning their own personal battles with illness every day and says he wants to do his bit to support them.
For much of his training Shaun had no idea who he was going to fight.
“I’d prefer not to know who I’m fighting against – that way I can train with no apprehensions,” says Shaun.
Now, however, he has learnt his opponent will be Andy ‘The Leopard’ Lowrie.
“I’ve had a fair few mock fights, but I’ve only ever coached the kids to compete – I’ve never actually competed myself,” continues Shaun.
“I wouldn’t be taking part if the match wasn’t for charity, but it’s worth it. Every time I get punched, I will just think of one of the poorly children and it will make me pick myself up and carry on. I want to be prepared – I don’t want to enter the ring with any doubt that I can win.”
Each training session involves stretching, shadow boxing and punching pads and can burn up to 1000 calories.
Shaun, who is father to Adrian, 24, and Matthew, 21, first got into boxing when he was 29.
“I was taking my kids to taekwondo lessons and I used to stay and watch,” he explains.
“When they lost interest, I decided to carry on going – I started the boxing lessons and decided I wanted to coach.
“Some of the kids I have coached have gone on to win area titles, which is an amazing achievement.”
Shaun is now focusing on his own training.
“Working as a porter at the Children’s Hospital allows me to meet all the children and cheer them up when they’re down,” he said. “I’d love to work as a play specialist – you get the same satisfaction cheering up a patient as you do when one of your boys wins a fight.”
All the money made will go to The Children’s Hospital Charity’s Make It Better campaign to raise cash for the £40m transformation.
Senior fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity, Rebecca Staden, said: “It is wonderful that Shaun not only contributes to our special hospital by working there, but is also willing to give up his free time to support our charity.
“We wish him the best of luck in his match and with his fundraising. The funds he raises will make such a difference for our young patients for years to come.”
The Children’s Hospital is part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and it is one of only four of its kind in the country, offering a whole range of specialist services. More than 245,000 patient journeys are made to the hospital from all over the UK and beyond every year.
Shauns’s fight will be at Bramall Lane Stadium’s platinum suite on Friday, November 22. All 400 tickets for the event have sold out.