Fight for Peace – expanding before our very eyes

08/11/2016 – Denise Carroll, Head of the London Academy and long time member of staff at the organisation, shares her reflections on exciting times for Fight for Peace in east London:

As we rapidly head towards the end of 2016, and with a busy schedule of events set for the end of year period, it’s a great time to reflect on all that’s happening at the Fight for Peace London Academy. This year marked a new chapter in our Academy’s history as we saw our space literally expand before our eyes, with the opening of our Blue Box containing a martial arts dojo, training room and rooftop space, and the creation of new classroom and office facilities. Construction continues and we are eagerly awaiting the completion of our new shower and changing facilities due for early next year.

Our Open Access sports provision has also expanded. Fight for Peace members now have the chance to train and compete judo and Olympic weightlifting in addition to our boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, muay thai and Fighting Fit strength and conditioning sessions. We have also added a female only sport session since September while young people will be able to train taekwondo starting this month. All our new sessions are run by highly skilled coaches who have brought so much to our team.

Outside of the gym, Pathways Module One and Two educational courses are midway through their twelve week cycles and eleven Academy members are preparing to complete the second half of their two week Sports Massage Therapist course as part of our Employability Pillar. Meanwhile, our recent Personal Development session on Confidence, Relationships and Motivation was billed by those involved as one of the most rewarding ever staged.

The latest internal results from our Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning team underline the achievements of our young people – we have worked with over 1100 already so far this year – as well as the dedication of our staff. To share a couple of brief highlights, in the third quarter of 2016, 75% and 83% of our Pathways learners passed their English and Maths exams respectively while 86% of our junior Twilight participants report believing in themselves more since joining Fight for Peace.

We aim to end 2016 on a high, with our Careers Fair and our Annual Awards Ceremony scheduled for the 16th and 30th of November, the latter event is always a highlight as we celebrate the achievements of our members in the ring and in life. We are also very excited to see our young competitors in action as we stage both our Boxing Show and Muay Thai Interclub events in the coming weeks.

Next year the Fight for Peace London Academy reaches ten years of existence in North Woolwich, with some current members of staff and young people with us since the very beginning. Each year Fight for Peace has grown and developed by listening to its members and staff – next year will see more of this as it promises to bring more developments, more learning to our Academy and more exciting opportunities for our members. So watch this space, literally!