The Herts Sports Partnership, along with its partner charity, Box Cleva, recently welcomed over 100 young boxers to the University of Hertfordshire for the Hertfordshire’s Big Hit celebration event...
The Herts Sports Partnership, along with its partner charity, Box Cleva, recently welcomed over 100 young boxers and Deputy Mayor of Watford, Cllr Karen Collett to the University of Hertfordshire for the Hertfordshire’s Big Hit celebration event.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and Hertfordshire’s local authorities (including Watford Borough Council), the project provides weekly non-contact boxing opportunities for over 200 young people, at 11 different locations across the county. As well as teaching the young people the sport of boxing, the project offers an integrated educational session delivered by boxing coaches – aimed at increasing young people’s knowledge and raising their confidence and self-esteem.
The project which has been running for 3 years has provided a fantastic positive diversionary activity for hundreds of young people who participated at some 1300 sessions, catering for over 18000 attendances.
To mark the last year of the funded programme, the young participants were invited to the celebration day, and before enjoying lunch were put through their paces by senior boxing coach Steve O’Hara, from Cheshunt Boxing Club. At the university’s prestigious Weston Auditorium, they were treated to a boxing skipping demonstration, a pad work display and heard motivational speeches from former WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion John Conteh MBE, former IBO Light Welterweight World Champion, Billy Schwer and Sean Murphy, former British and Commonwealth Lightweight Champion. Each young boxer was then presented with a trophy to mark their involvement in the programme, and in recognition of all their hard work and dedication over the previous 12 months.
Following the event, Herts Sports Partnership’s Deputy Director Jane Shewring said: “The Hertfordshire’s Big Hit project is recognised nationally as one of the best of its kind. The collaborative work that has been undertaken by our team, Box Cleva and the boxing coaches to improve the lives of so many young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, has been exemplary. The way that the programme has provided those young people with such positive activities – and has improved their outlook - has been nothing short of inspirational.
We are all working tirelessly to ensure that funding can be secured to continue this project. At a time when the young people are at risk being groomed into an increasing gang and knife culture, it would be a travesty to let such an impactful ‘early intervention’ project come to an end.”