Twilight programme keeps young people fit and fed over the summer holidays

03/09/2017 – Fight for Peace’s Twilight summer programme has come to a close at the London Academy following six weeks of boxing, fitness, healthy meals and activities. The 2017 summer programme formed part of the wider Street Games Fit and Fed initiative which responds to the problems of hunger, isolation and inactivity which many young people face on their summer holidays, nowhere more so than in the borough of Newham, east London where Fight for Peace is located.

All schools in Newham offer free meals in term times and, during holiday times, many young people lack the necessary nutrition to remain healthy and thrive. Research has suggested that many children return to school weighing less following their school holidays. In addition to this, school holidays are a time when young people have little to do and nowhere to go.

The Twilight summer programme offered three sessions per week in which young people aged 7-14 were invited to take part boxing technique and controlled sparring sessions, general fitness exercises and personal development activities. Each session was followed by a meal offered to all participants while a number of day trips were included in the programme to allow those taking part to build relationships and develop teamwork and leadership skills.

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One Twilight participant, 13 year old Kayjon, shared his thoughts on the programme and explained how he felt he benefitted from the activities on offer:

“The training was very good because the coaches pushed you to your limits, they pushed you out of your comfort zone. Boxing helps me with self-defence and if something happens I know how to defend myself, and boxing is just a fun sport and I love sparring inside Fight for Peace. Kenny and Ebs are both fun coaches, at times Kenny plays games with us but when it comes to it he makes us train hard, like a lot, and he pushes us out of our comfort zone. And Ebs is like a calm guy, it’s all about the fitness, the press ups and that and he controls the boxing and the sparring.

The food was nice. Sometimes they gave us pizza but they also gave us healthy food like jacket potatoes and cheese and beans and sandwiches and they always make sure that we have to have salad with it so we are eating healthy at the same time. As a boxer it’s important to eat correctly as well because if you are eating right it helps, if you have weight problems, it makes you lose weight quicker and stuff like that.

The trips were fun, they come up with fun ideas, the first day we went to a trampoline park, the trip after was more calm and some trips were teambuilding, like bowling – working together to make points. At Fight for Peace you learn how to build more relationships with other people and work with other people, teambuilding and making friends.”

As young people return to school, the Twilight programme at Fight for Peace will resume it’s normal rhythm providing three two-hour sessions of boxing and personal development to the London Academy’s youngest members.