Highgate boxing coach to sled with huskies to raise funds for MS Society

England boxing coach Matt Garcia is founder of Total Boxer in Crouch End

England boxing coach Matt Garcia is founder of Total Boxer in Crouch End - Credit: Matt Garcia

A Highgate boxing coach is swapping the ring for a sled and pack of huskies to cross Lapland in aid of multiple sclerosis sufferers.

Matt Garcia, founder of Total Boxer in Crouch End, is flying to Sweden on April 1 and will spend seven days "living like a Laplander", sledding across the highlands and forests of Lapland.

Whilst trying to control his Husky team to get him to the Ice Hotel on the other side, he’ll also be camping, cooking and looking after the dogs in -20 degree temperatures.

Matt Garcia

Matt Garcia, founder of Total Boxer, is sledding across Lapland for the MS Society - Credit: Matt Garcia

The 48-year-old is doing the challenge to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Charity in memory of his grandfather, who had the disease and who died when Matt was very young.

"This is the wildest most adventurous thing I've done. I did the Blenheim Palace Triathlon for the first time just before the pandemic and through my club we always do something every year to raise funds like raffles," said Matt.

"This is very much out of my comfort zone,"

He added: "I'm fit. I do boxing yoga every day which is really good because boxing yoga is designed to help strengthen the legs and core, which is what we are going to need when we're riding the sled all those hours. Physically and mentally I'm as ready as I'll ever be although I still need to buy some kit."

Lapland adventurers Coby Bull and Matt Garcia

Lapland adventurers Coby Bull and Matt Garcia - Credit: Matt Garcia

Matt is doing the challenge with Coby Bull, who lives in Hampstead and is raising funds for the Chai Cancer Charity.

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He said 28-year-old Coby came to his club about 10 years ago and they "became fast friends".

"He's beyond his years, he's very smart, like an old soul so we get on very well.

"We've had so much support from the club's members, our community, so it's been a wonderful team effort. So I feel a great sense of pride and responsibility."

Matt will be taking the "bare necessities" with him including warm gloves and warm gear, a Go Pro camera, and a battery pack for his mobile. 

"Coby's on whisky duty and I think I'm bringing the cigars," he said.

"One of us has to decide who brings the s'mores for the nights in front of the campfire."

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattylapland