A gym that focused on young people, whether they were going to be champions in the ring or champions in life would be really powerful
In this week’s edition of Boxing News, Vested Interest features the charity Fight For Peace and describes how the organization uses boxing and combat sports to reach out to troubled young people and provide help and support to them.
It’s a form of social work that many boxing clubs do naturally without it being formalised. Fight For Peace, already based in London and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, is looking to spread its work internationally (their global alumni programme aims to help 120 youth organisations over three years) and also with people doing similar work in the UK.
“We’d be interested in stuff with clubs that might already be doing stuff around gangs or crime or inclusion and are legitimate, credible, successful boxing clubs but would like to go a little bit further in that area of youth work,” the founder, Luke Dowdney told Boxing News.
“The idea with Fight For Peace from the very beginning was that this has to be a credible boxing club that creates champions. We’ve had three Brazilian national champions to date. We’ve got two on the Brazilian squad at the moment. We need the credibility through being a real club. But at the same time we want to start developing the more traditional youth work side. The young people that come into boxing clubs could really do with the additional support that they’re not getting elsewhere.
“They’re not going into existing establishments. They’re not interested, it would appear they don’t care…[I knew] if I could create a gym that focused on young people, whether they were going to be champions in the ring or champions in life across their experience in the club, then we could have something that would be really powerful."
The first female Olympic boxing gold medallist, Nicola Adams has visited the project. She told BN, "It's a really good charity and the things that they're doing out in the favelas, trying to stop the gun crime and the drug crime, I think it's absolutely amazing that they put themselves at risk every day going in there and trying to help the kids and give them a better future."