Power & Reach of Boxing: KABO Boxing Club & Granton Youth Centre meet Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
The BSL Power & Reach of Boxing series continues this week at the recently affiliated KABO Boxing Club.
Located in Granton, Edinburgh the club is situated adjacent to Granton Youth Centre – Indeed, the Club and the Youth Centre work together closely together to provide community based support and opportunity for young people. Through both the Club and the Youth Centre, there are a number of activities made available that aim to develop skills, confidence and self-esteem to these young people. In addition, collectively these outlets provide a safe space to explore relevant issues such as drugs and alcohol, bullying and community safety as well as a range of other issues identified by the young people that concern them.
The Boxing Club has provided a community space for these young people to be physically active. The success of the club goes beyond success within the ring – most recently Jake Cunningham’s Gold medal at the 2017 BSL Novice Championships – but is really evidenced by the impact that the club can have on the lives of the individuals who take part.
One example of this can be seen through the story of Liam Burnett, who was introduced to the club at a time in his life where he was involved in adverse, gang related anti-social behavior. Prior to joining the club, Liam was a wheelchair user which limited mobility and fitness. Within 8 months, Liam completed a 5K run, was accepted into college and gained employment for the first time. Liam also began to get more involved in the Youth Centre, and this behavioral change coupled with these personal achievements did not go unrecognized. Liam was awarded the Young Person of the Year Award, which he was presented with by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace.
Clearly this evidences how the wider engagement of the boxing club impacted the life of this young individual.
Clearly, what the Club and Youth Centre can offer goes beyond only physical activity, but undoubtedly creates a safe and enjoyable space within the community where young people can be presented with an opportunity to grow and develop. Consequently, the club and Youth Centre was visited by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, where he continued to launch the Year of the Young People 2018. He said:
“Too often, teenagers feel that others view them negatively simply because of their age. This can really have an impact on their own wellbeing and self-esteem.
“We must all do more to talk up our young people, showcase their strengths and instil them with self-confidence as they move towards adulthood.
“The Year of Young People is designed to foster more respect and understanding between generations. It will show everyone across Scotland just how talented our young people are but also how challenging their daily lives can be – contrary to what some of us might think.
“I hope it will go some way to challenging those negative perceptions.”