Box Smart goes through to launch its fourth round

By Mary Dennehy

THE fourth round of a winning rehabilitation programme that provides people with the opportunity to change their lives through mental and physical wellbeing has been officially launched in Tallaght.

The Box Smart initiative is a four-month drug-rehabilitation programme which, run by the Tallaght Rehabilitation Project (TRP), strives to reintegrate participants into mainstream society through a QQI award in Health Related Fitness.

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Box Smart participants and staff

The free programme not only provides participants with a recognised qualification but also builds confidence, self-esteem and a real progression route within their recovery from addiction.

Pat Daly, Manager of TRP, told The Echo that to date 35 people have taken part in Box Smart, with 20 new participants enrolled for the fourth round.

“This is a Tallaght-wide programme for people in recovery,” Mr Daly said.

“It’s both educational and physical and, alongside helping with participant’s self-esteem and confidence, it also dispels myths that people in recovery from addiction can’t achieve, that they won’t do anything.

“They can achieve . . . and last year out of the 15 participants on the programme, 11 graduated – eight with distinctions and three with merits.

“A lot of the guys on the programme left school early and at a young age, so being part of this programme in itself is a huge achievement, with some past participants going onto further education and others joining local gyms and clubs.”

Supported by a number of local athletes

Over the years, the programme has been supported by a number of local athletes and sports people, with councillor and former Olympian Kenneth Egan helping to launch this year’s programme – and dropping back to meet participants for a fitness session later in the programme.

He added: “This programme is already paying positive benefits back [to participants, their families and the wider community] and is also an excellence initiative for mental health.

“The programme is a really good mental health intervention, alongside being educational and physical.”

The four-month programme, which includes classes such as healthy food and nutrition, sees participants attend IT Tallaght for the education modules and the community gym in Brookfield for physical training.

According to Mr Daly, TRP, which was established in 1997, would like to thank the Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, IT Tallaght, South Dublin County Sports Partnership and Bill and Niamh in the Brookfield Gym for their ongoing support.

He also wished to thank Sacred Heart Boxing Club for providing a space for participants to train up until recently when Box Smart had to move to a larger gym space due to growing numbers.

For further details on the programme or to learn about the Tallaght Rehabilitation Project, which is based in Kiltalown House, Jobstown, visit www.tallaghtrehabproject.ie or call 4597705.

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