Ian Garry Announced As An Official Ambassador for Gloves Not Gunz


Pictured: MMA and UFC star ‘The Future’ Ian Machado Garry

Undefeated Irish professional MMA and UFC star ‘The Future’ Ian Machado Garry has been announced as Gloves Not Gunz latest ambassador as the organisation strives to grow its sports programmes and youth services across the UK in 2023.

Over the past year, Ian has gone from strength to strength in his professional career and is currently on a three-fight win streak after joining the UFC in 2021 taking his record to 10-0. Ian’s values, passion, and determination along with his hard work, personality and confidence are what attracted Gloves Not Gunz to the star.

In November 2022, Ian held a training session at the Gloves Not Gunz boxing gym in Croydon, London where young people in the local community could try out the sport, develop their skills, and learn from MMA’s rising star.

Pictured: Ian Garry delivering a session at the Boxing HQ in December 2022.

Commenting on becoming an Ambassador for Gloves Not Gunz, Ian said: “Gloves Not Gunz is a phenomenal concept. After the training session and getting to meet everyone and seeing first-hand the impact programmes like Gloves Not Gunz can have on the community, it made my decision very easy when I was approached to become an ambassador.

“I know just how important it is to have role models to look up to and a safe place to go where you can train and meet others. Sport can have such a big impact on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and I am honoured to become an ambassador of Gloves Not Gunz and look forward to working with them to inspire young people and grow the sport across the UK.”

Founders and Directors of Gloves Not Gunz, Adam Ballard and Ben Eckett added: “We are delighted to have Ian on board as one of our ambassadors. Not only does he bring knowledge and experience with his success to date, but he also brings passion, excitement, and integrity. Ian is someone the young people we work with can look up to and we are excited to work with him starting with our first masterclass taking place on Thursday 5th January 2023.”

Pictured: Ian Garry at the GNG Boxing HQ in December 2022.

Founded in 2017 by local dads Adam Ballard and Ben Eckett, Gloves Not Gunz uses a holistic approach to supporting young people and the community through sport, mentoring, education, employment, and therapeutic interventions. Supporting thousands of young people each year through its free service and programmes, Gloves Not Gunz aims to break down barriers and tackle key issues within the community whilst creating change and inspiring the youth of today.

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2022 Reflections With Adam Ballard and Ben Eckett

As 2022 draws to a close, we sat down with Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK founders and directors, Adam Ballard and Ben Eckett to talk reflections and lessons, and what we can expect in 2023.

Talk us through how this year has been for Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK?

Ben: This year has been a year of positivity and growth for us. We’ve seen some of our contracts extended with councils and local authorities and we’ve received new funding which has been great after having a difficult year in 2021. In 2022 we have expanded our services in schools, implemented and developed new systems, and built structure and consistency within the team and organisation.

Adam: 2022 has been the year I was able to take my role full-time, which has been a huge relief. Taking the leap has been the best thing as before I was struggling to juggle everything. Now, I’ve got more time to develop and grow the organisation. There are moments in life when you’ve got to just throw caution to the wind and thankfully this has worked out.

Training session with MMA and UFC star, Ian Garry at the Gloves Not Gunz Boxing HQ

How have the Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK teams developed over the past 12-months?

Ben: This year we decided to get Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s together which we’ve never done before so it’s been really nice to see how both organisations can help each other. We’ve also hired new people who have proven to be great additions to the teams.

Adam: We’ve continued to employ young people which is personally one of my favourite things we get to do, as we can offer them an opportunity they may not get elsewhere.

A taster boxing session at our Community Day in August | image by Bevin Sutherland

What have been some of the challenges that you’ve faced this year?

Adam: One of the challenges we’ve faced has been engaging with other community groups in Croydon and some of the politics in the work we do.

Ben: The challenges and politics can make you feel frustrated and angry, but you have to realise that it’s not worth it and we just need to focus on what we’re doing.

Where would you like Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK to be this time next year?

Ben: In 2023 we’re really focusing on expansion – expanding both the team and our services and programmes. We’ve got some really exciting things in the pipeline that we can’t wait to roll out and we’re looking forward to continuing to change young people’s lives.

Adam: Yes, we definitely want to expand across the country too, with the plan to perhaps go international as well. We’ve got big plans for the next year, which is exciting.

Training session with MMA and UFC star, Ian Garry at the Gloves Not Gunz Boxing HQ

What three words sum up 2022 for you?

Both: Progressive, Innovative and Reflective

GNG and UYUK Community Day in August | image by Bevin Sutherland

2022 has been another successful and transformative year for Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK. We’d like to thank everyone who has used our services, attended our programmes, supported us, and worked with us to inspire and create positive change. We look forward to 2023 and another year of success with our team, young people, partners, sponsors, and ambassadors.  

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK!


To find out more about Gloves Not Gunz visit the website here and keep up to date on Twitter and Instagram.

To find out more about Urban Yogi’s UK visit the website here and keep posted for updates on Twitter and Instagram.