Antony Newby and his team at Trailblazers Underground Fitness Club are running weekly free boxing classes for teenagers in a bid to help reduce violence amongst youths in Armley, Bramley and surrounding areas, writes Mat Dale.
After hearing about an initiative from the Home Office, Antony said:
“Because knife crime and gang culture are on the rise in Leeds and around the UK, we wanted to offer something for them to do instead of hanging around the streets, getting into trouble.
“I think the main reasons is that they are bored, there’s nothing to do, there’s no youth clubs, there’s nothing like that anymore.
“We had an idea and put it to them. I created a campaign and was given some funding from Leeds City Council to get it to work. We have bought brand new pads, gloves and, some more punchbags too.
“They’re going to learn boxing, socialise and make new friends, it’s all really positive and something to focus on, to channel their energies, release some stress. This will run until the end of March and it is 100% free.”
After the first session, Antony said:
“I have worked so hard to get this to work and I am overwhelmed by the response and how many people came down.
“We started off with a chat, explaining what this scheme was about and how it was all tied in with trying to reduce violence among youths. We did a warm-up with some exercises and the went through the basics of boxing using jabs and straights and did a short workout.
“Such a great group of kids that all engaged, all behaved, and all loved the session. Spread the word because we want this to be used, it is there to be used. Any schools or any groups that look after children, please get in touch.”
If you know any children 11+ years old that wants to come and join in, it is on every Thursday afternoon from 4.30pm till 5.30pm until the end of March and is completely free.
Trailblazers Underground Fitness Club is a Community Interest Company based at St Catherines Mill, Broad Lane, in Bramley. Phone: 07525 822491.