Hertfordshire’s Big Hit
In 2016, funding was approved by the Big Lottery Fund for a three year boxing project for Hertfordshire. Additional funding has been provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner, the People’s Post Code Trust, Hertfordshire’s ten local authorities and the Hertfordshire County Council People’s Innovation fund. The total project funding is £437,476 over three years.
We have employed a part-time Boxing development officer and working with Box Cleva to work with 7 to 15 year olds to achieve three key outcomes:
- Reduce the number of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour and crime
- Improve the physical and mental health of young offenders
- Increase the self-confidence and self-esteem of young offenders
Club and Workforce Development is an additional element of the project that will work across the county to produce a Hertfordshire-wide, and individual district boxing development plans. These will be tailored to support the needs of each local community and encourage sustainability.
Year 1 of the project was highly successful and achieved the following outcomes:
Qualifications: 8 x Level 1 Boxing Awards, 15 x Safeguarding Awards, 9 x First Aid qualifications, 9 x Box Leaders Awards
Participants: 157 young people attending 10-12 sessions, 1787 session visits across 10 locations
Antisocial behaviour: Reductions in antisocial behaviour across nine districts
Wellbeing: Substantial improvements in mental and emotional wellbeing
To mark the second anniversary of its Hertfordshire’s Big Hit boxing project, HSP proudly hosted a celebration event at its University of Hertfordshire base, which was attended by over 300 young boxers, their parents and former and current boxing champions, John Conteh MBE, Ted Cheeseman and Sean Murphy.
The Big Lottery funded programme began in summer 2016 after initial pilot sessions delivered by the Box Cleva charity highlighted a need for an intervention to help tackle local anti-social behaviour.
The project funds 11 programmes at boxing clubs across Hertfordshire and often, the young people who take part in the weekly ‘Big Hit’ sessions are those at risk of engaging in low level crime, and of getting in with the wrong crowd. The young participants not only train hard and learn about the sweet science, but also benefit from an interwoven educational and awareness programme around resilience, substance misuse, bullying and healthy eating.
Bob Williams, founder of Box Cleva and Boxing Development Officer for the Big Hit project said:
“Events like this just don’t happen for many of these youngsters – many of whom come from some of the county’s more disadvantaged communities. Box Cleva and the trainers are proud of how hard these kids work towards their awards. Our celebrity guests have shown them that with dedication comes reward, and that if they set their minds to it, they can achieve anything. I hope that the young boxers from the all of the Box Cleva projects had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves here today. To see them proudly collecting their awards after putting in so much effort over recent weeks, brought a tear to my eye. ‘’
The event opened with an interactive group skills session where the young participants skipped and showed off their pad work to onlooking parents and carers, and were encouraged by Ted Cheeseman who moved amongst them with his WBA International Super Welterweight belt.
The exhausting practical session was followed by lunch – provided courtesy of Herts Catering Ltd – and the Big Hit awards ceremony at the university’s Weston Auditorium, where Hertfordshire dignitaries handed out awards to the local boxers.
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