Friday, 25 June 2010

Bush police teach kids to box

On wednesday this week officers from Sands End Safer Neighbourhoods Team, from Hammersmith and Fulham Police launched a boxing club at Hurlingham and Chelsea School, Peterborough Road, Fulham.

The club is targeted at young people aged between 11 - 17 years of age who live and or go to school in the local area. In particular this scheme will be aimed at reaching young people who live in the Sands End and the Fulham Court areas or go to school in the area.

Each training session will have brief modules on junior citizenship and local policing issues including gun, knife and gang crime. Other subjects cover bullying, truancy, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, robbery, graffiti, anti-social behaviour, and road safety. The boxing part of the training session will focus on warming up and stretching, skipping, boxing techniques, shadow boxing, pad work and bag work, and fun circuit training.

The course will be run by local Police, PCSO's and Police Cadets, with help from identified partners to include school teachers, youth workers, London Fire Service Members, and other suitable community members.

Also present at the launch were Ted Bami - former European light welterweight champion and British light welterweight title challenger; Hannah Beharry - Britain's number one female boxer in the 48kg category and twice a European Union bronze medallist; Terry Gilliam - President of the London Amateur Boxing Association were all on hand to offer support.

Sergeant Mark Trower from the Sands End Safer Neighbourhoods Team and who help set the club said: “I am very proud to be part of this initiative The Sands End Police Community Boxing Club is a positive diversionary project delivered in partnership with Hurlingham and Chelsea Secondary School. The club will also aim to help young people into a disciplined sport where they can gain confidence and feel better about themselves.”

Chief Inspector Wynne Jones in charge of the Safer Neighbourhoods Team at Hammersmith & Fulham Police Said: “I am grateful for the hard work of all partners in getting this initiative started. It is providing young people with an activity that they themselves have chosen and will give them some positive personal skills as well as providing a diversion away from crime and anti social behaviour.”

Dimitri McIntosh aged 18yrs said:"This is a brilliant initiative it means that young people like myself from different backgrounds and learn and have fun."

All good stuff if it diverts even one person away from the sort of life that ends up, in come cases quite literally ends, with stabbings round the back of Westfield. But I still wonder whether there aren't alternatives to a sport that involves punching your opponent repeatedly in the head. I come from quite a rough old town in the north east where boxing is much more widely practiced than you tend to get down here - and even with that level of take up you do still get problems!

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