Boxing club delivering free classes to fight crime receives grant and visit from Police Commissioner

By Beatriz Abreu Ferreira

A boxing club delivering free classes in Leicester to young people at risk of violence or knife crime received a visit from Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach earlier this month, and a £14,800 grant.

The Champion Spirit project, at the City of Leicester Amateur Boxing Club, delivers free boxing classes to young people involved in or at risk of committing violence or knife crime offences.

The boxing club was given the £14,800 grant from the Commissioner’s Early Intervention Youth Funding pot to deliver the Champion Spirit project, as part of the Commissioner’s action plan to steer young people away from gang violence and crime.

The funding has enabled the club, based in Saffron Lane, Leicester, to provide three hours of boxing sessions during the daytime for 50 weeks.

Pete Lewis, project manager and boxing coach, said: “The visit of the Police and Crime Commissioner was very important so that he could see where the money is going.”

Volunteers at the club will be delivering four hours of extra mentorship each week, focusing on helping them develop personal skills including resilience, concentration and relaxation.

The grant will also fund a one-hour fun fitness class for children aged six to eight at Millgate School, a residential special education needs school in the city centre.

Mr Lewis said: “I had the idea for this project because I come from a similar background to the young people I’m working with and I wanted to help reduce the violent crime rate in Leicester, which is definitely higher than average.

“Although I never heard of any project like this, I have had many successful cases. I believe that it’s projects like these that really improve crime prevention and help to make a difference in the community.

“I hope to continue with the classes until the end of the year, and next year restart the project with some new students. We are also looking into developing a template to help other people start similar projects.”

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