Professional boxers join the police's fight to keep South Yorkshire kids off the street
Sports foundations have come together with boxing stars and the police to steer young people living in South Yorkshire into gyms and give them positive role models.
The Local Foundation Sports Society Success Network launched its new project alongside the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) at Stainforth youth club with the help of professional boxers on Monday, January 27.
The one-day training session was aimed at getting coaches ready to go out into the community and help at-risk children by introducing them to boxing.
Mark Turner, Founder of Sports Society Success, said: “We use boxing as a tool to combat crime by working and educating young people about making good decisions and the consequences of bad decisions.
“Sport is a way in which young people can take a good path in life - bringing boxing to Stainforth is a good example of offering provisions to young people at times where they might be otherwise on the street.”
Supporting this project were professional boxers Jamie Macdonnell, Gavin Macdonnell, Jason Cunnigham, and Jordan Gill.
They will be acting as role models for young people who enter this project.
Jordan Gill, former WBA international Featherweight champion, said: “I think boxing is really important - it’s a great sport for young people to get involved in.
“Boxing teaches really good discipline and values.”
Jason started his boxing career at just aged four - he says he was first introduced to the ring as he was overactive and needed to burn energy.
He accredits the sport for his good behavior and grades in school and was able to build his love for boxing into a career.
He said: “Without boxing, I think I would have been in a lot of trouble, anti-social behavior and causing problems all over town.”
The training will be put in place across Doncaster, Barnsley, Sheffield, and Rotherham.
Temporary Superintendent, Lee Berry, said: “The idea is to stop young people from getting caught up on crime and providing them positive role models.
“South Yorkshire was identified as one of the 18 areas where there had been an increase in knife injuries in the accident and emergency rooms.”