Edinburgh youngster runs Xmas fundraiser for those less fortunate

Cody McManus age 8 started boxing at Holyrood Boxing Gym at 5 years old.  Picture: Neil Hanna

Cody McManus age 8 started boxing at Holyrood Boxing Gym at 5 years old. Picture: Neil Hanna

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HE thought every child woke up to stacks of presents on Christmas morning and piles of food lying on the table.

But when Cody McManus realised not all children are as fortunate, he started his own fundraising campaign in a bid to improve their special day.

The eight year-old – who is a keen boxer – came up with the idea of filling a whole boxing ring with toys to donate after the story of another youngster touched his heart.

He also set himself a gruelling stamina challenge, which will see him compete in eight seperate non-contact boxing rounds against other children, demonstrating his skills and style.

Cody, who is a pupil at Duddingston Primary School and has boxed at Holyrood Boxing Gym since he was five, invited one of his friends round to his house for dinner and together, they began looking through a Christmas toy catalogue.

As he began picking out things he’d like, his friend told him he “doesn’t get anything” at Christmas which left Cody confused.

Later he asked his mum, Denise, why some children get more than others during the festive season.

Denise said: “Cody said he would feel sad if he didn’t get anything on Christmas morning and wanted every child to be able to smile like he does. After his friend explained to him that his dad had died and his mum didn’t have very much money, that really affected Cody and he was determined to do something to help.

“I told him there were boys and girls all over the world that experience the same thing – not everyone gets presents.

“Cody remembered that some of the older boxers at the club had boxed in the past to raise money and asked if he could do the same thing – but for toys.

“That’s when he came up with the idea of filling a whole boxing ring with toys that could be donated to less fortunate, and raising money to buy them.”

Cody explained his idea to his boxing coach who made it a reality, and agreed to hold the charity event at the gym tonight.

Denise added: “Cody has been training really hard to prepare for the challenge – it won’t be easy for an eight year-old to compete in eight rounds back to back. This type of boxing is all about skills and style, no-one gets hurt.”

Denise and Cody have joined forces with Children’s 1st, who will distribute the toys Cody has collated to less fortunate children in Edinburgh around Christmas time.

The plucky boxer has also raised £1175 on a just giving page, and the Edinburgh Taxi Trade have donated £250 as well as a brand new BMX bike. The eight children Cody will be participating in his challenge with have been collecting money and toys.

Denise added: “Children’s 1st invited Cody in to meet the team and their mascot Hamish the Highland Cow. We heard how the toys are distributed to kids who have nothing and are on the social services lists due various sad reasons.

“Children 1st do an amazing job so we hope to promote them during this event.”

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk