Young boxer is an inspiration

Welterweight Adam Little 'in conversation' with Malcolm Rae OBE talks boxing and mental fitness

Kirkham’s unbeaten welterweight boxer Adam Little (23) knows what it is like to be young and depressed, when uncertain about his future following an enforced break from his career in the ring after surgery on his injured right hand.

Last Saturday (28 June) Adam proved an inspiration to supporters of national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide at its annual conference, held this year in Birmingham.

He was a guest speaker, sharing his own story about how he stays mentally healthy through his sport, ‘in conversation’ with Malcolm Rae OBE, a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing.
The impact of sport on positive mental health is especially topical when recent trends have shown many young people fixated with social media and computer gaming, to the detriment of physical activity that is known to be a major contributor to the mental wellbeing of young people.

“I just want to tell it how it is and I hope that young guys in particular will listen to me, when they often feel they are ‘talked at’ by those who care for them,” said Adam. “I love my sport; it is my life and it was devastating when my injury stopped me from training and getting in the ring. It made me realise how important boxing was to feeling mentally fit. I didn’t feel the same person without it. Also when a fight doesn’t go the way I want, I can feel flat, but training helps to pick me up again.

“Boxing got me back on my feet mentally as well as physically. It doesn’t matter what it is – going for a run with your mates or tossing a ball about in the park - it will make you feel better and if you are finding it tough to get going, you’ve got to get help,” urges Adam.

“PAPYRUS is dedicated to helping young people who feel they are not coping. It has a helpline of trained professionals who give practical help and advice. It is confidential and anonymous – they really understand and can give you contacts for sport in your area if you are not sure where to go.”

Any young person struggling with life, or if you are worried about a young person you know, call the PAPYRUS national helpline HOPELineUK 0800 068 41 41 or you can text 07786 209 697 or email You’ve got nothing to lose and you could save a young life. How good would that be?