Throughout the summer holidays the Academy’s gym at Hinton Community Centre in South Wye, Hereford, welcomed everyone between the age of 8 and 16 to take part in boxing training and to discuss and learn numerous life skills.
The six week joint venture between South Wye Police Boxing Academy and West Mercia Police’s South Wye Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) took place every day of the school summer holidays. Following the training sessions the children enjoyed a healthy lunch prepared in the centre’s café free of charge.
The partnership scheme brought together over 180 young people and provided over 840 healthy meals for the community. Each day had an average of 35 children in the gym training and discussing various topics such as respect for others, healthy living and guest talks from the fire service on fire safety.
These types of projects are invaluable in breaking down barriers within communities and in forming strong relationships with the local communities.
Hereford SNT inspector Greg Tudge, who along with the SNT officers has visited and assisted with the daily sessions, expressed how this initiative has helped to engage with young people in the area and can help with reducing the risk of anti-social behaviour.
“This has been a fantastic project that we organised with the South Wye Police Boxing Academy with the aim of engaging the young people with our local officers.
“Not only has the scheme provided a free to attend fun initiative for over 180 children throughout the 6 week scheme, it has also helped to break down barriers with the Police and to build up trust and confidence.
“We want to build on this success and working closely with the boxing club we will roll this out into harder to reach parts of the community. The next joint project starts mid-September in Kingstone.”
England Boxing Club Development Officer Michael Maguire commented ” I cannot praise South Wye boxing and the local police enough. This is a wonderful partnership project that has bought together over 180 young people and provided over 840 healthy meals for the community.
“Every day saw, on average, 35 children in the gym training and discussing various topics from respect for others, healthy living, and fire safety. These types of projects are invaluable in breaking down barriers within communities and in forming strong relationships with the local police and the fire service. This has created a great future for all of the groups taking part”
Boxing Academy Secretary Vince McNally said “Herefordshire Council’s Adults and Communities department has been great; without its help a lot of projects would not happen. I think a lot of local families have benefited from this project and we hope that we can provide the same project next summer. We are lucky to have an amazing team of experienced coaches at the club, who gave up their time for free. I must also thank Sarah, our chef, who provided superb meals for the children”
A new project will be starting in mid-September 2019 when the boxing Academy, and West Mercia Police, will be teaching boxing in a safe environment in the local community. The first six weeks of training will be in Kingstone and the project will then be expanded County-wide.