A coach in the north-east is offering veterans a free boxing course to combat mental health issues that may have arisen from the pandemic.
Scott Milne is an army veteran who coaches at Kingswells Boxing Club, now he wants to help others the same way the club has helped him.
The club is offering a free six-week boxing course to all military veterans and serving personnel in an attempt to combat mental health issues.
He believes that suicide rates are going “through the roof” and is offering these classes to get people out the house and socialising again.
New data published by Public Health Scotland has shown that between 2011 and 2019 6,798 people took their own lives across Scotland.
The statistics show that almost three-quarters of people who died from suicide were male, with an average age of 44. Additionally, 54% of the people who committed suicide were single.
Mr Milne said: “I just want to get people, veterans especially, out of the house. In the last three years, I’ve known a few guys I was in the army with who have committed suicide, and it’s just down to not being able to talk to anyone and not being able to socialise really.”
The 42-year-old has been coaching for around eight months now and explained that joining the club has helped him and allowed him to meet people from all walks of life.
He said: “It’s sometimes better to socialise out with alcohol, to get in amongst folk and train and get fit; it’s good for your mind, good for your soul, good for your body.”
The course begins on Sunday May 30 and will include classes on pad work, foot work, and keep fit sessions.
It is open to all veterans of all ages, Mr Milne has encouraged older people who just want to come along and watch to do so. He added “There’s a kettle, I can make them a cup of tea!”
At the end of the six weeks, they will chose a “top student” who will win £300 worth of kit and an extra four weeks free training at Kingswells Boxing Club, which is now based in Stoneywood.
Mr Milne is hopeful that veterans will join the course and be able to socialise and talk to people again.
He said: “I know it’s hard, the worst part is walking in the door. But honestly, as soon as you walk in everyone’s friendly, it’s a friendly atmosphere, it’s a brilliant wee club, they’ve done a lot for the community.”