A NEW boxing project in Kirkby is helping offenders to reform by boosting confidence, improving fitness and helping them to make positive life changing decisions.
The Nottinghamshire Probation Trust project only began four months ago but is already achieving some knock out results.
It runs every Friday afternoon at Kirkby Amateur Boxing club’s new Chapel Street home and targets offenders aged 18-25 from Mansfield and Ashfield.
Two intensive sessions take participants through their paces with a warm-up, jogging on the spot, shadow boxing, stretching, pad and punch bag work before some sparring with the coach in the boxing ring.
Probation officer Andrew Toft, who set up the boxing project with colleague Gareth Castick, said: “By using boxing as an outlet for any aggression, we’re hopefully reducing the chances of offenders getting involved in any incidents on the streets.”
Participant Joe (21), from Mansfield, has been coming to the project since it began. He said: “It gives me something to look forward to, improves my fitness levels and helps me lead a healthier life. I go home shattered.”
Local boxing coach and founder of Kirkby Amateur Boxing Club, Richard Wheldon, leads the group from its new location – the previously derelict pub, The Waggon and Horses.
Mark Taylor, Nottinghamshire Probation Trust’s Director of Offender Management said: “The project brings great benefits in terms of increasing offender health and fitness, channelling energy and improving self-discipline.
“All of this brings positive outcomes for individuals, their families and the communities in which they live.”