Three Norwich residents with Parkinson's are fighting hard (literally) to make their contribution on a local level with Jon Thaxton Norwich's own boxing hero.

The three with Parkinson's are Mark Whitworth ex roofer and boxing enthusiast now 42, diagnosed at 38, Niki Oldroyd now 46 diagnosed at 24 and Dale Sherriff now 46 diagnosed 10 years ago. They all have different symptoms and challenges but are united by the fact that in the prime of their lives they we are living with an incurable neuro-degenerative disease. But, they want to fight back and are doing just that with the help of Jon Thaxton Norwichs' own former IBF Inter-Continental light-welterweight champion, WBO Inter-Continental light welterweight champion, WBF World Lightweight champion, British Lightweight champion and European Lightweight boxing champion.

Jon, a lifelong friend of Mark Whitworth got involved with the project when Mark returned from the World Parkinson's Congress where boxing had been showcased and its core techniques proven to help those with Parkinson's.

A real boxer will be focused intently on attack, defence and balance simultaneously however, the techniques used by boxers can be tailored to individual specific fitness levels and goals, for people of any age. These techniques are particularly of benefit to those with Parkinson's as they involve the entire body and focus on building muscle strength, improved balance and coordination and flexibility.

John Thaxton


In the United States classes specifically for Parkinson's patients are common place and have proven that anyone, at any level of Parkinson’s, can actually lessen their symptoms.

Mark, Niki and Dale all have different Parkinson's challenges and John uses a range of boxing techniques to tailor make a workout to help them with their personal challenges as well as using group activities to increase strength and fitness.

We have only had 3 sessions and already I am noticing a difference in how I deal with my Parkinsons symptoms.  I would encourage anybody with Parkinsons of any age to get in touch and give it a go –it is amazing the difference it has made.

Niki Oldroyd

It really helps me deal with my Parkinson's.  Recently a bus driver in Norwich refused to let me on the bus because he thought I was drunk – when I told him I had Parkinsons he didn’t believe me at first – life can be frustrating but the boxing helps mentally and physically.

Dale Sherriff

To see the media coverage of Parkinson's Fighters please click on the links below:

Mustard TV - Parkinson’s Fighters: How boxing has helped Norwich sufferers

EDP24 - Former boxing champion Jon Thaxton lends his support to new Parkinson’s Fighters group



You are invited to a demonstration class by the Parkinson's Fighters with John Thaxton.
At Norwich Diamonds Amateur Boxing Club, Unit 2, Horizon Works, Dereham Rd, New Costessey, Norwich, NR5 0SEFriday 4th April at 7.00pmRSVP: niki_oldroyd@hotmail.com