UK Shadow Minister for Sport enters the ring at Fight for Peace
12/12/2018 – UK Shadow Minister for Sport, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP visited our London Academy on 4th December to learn about Fight for Peace’s public health approach to violence prevention. As part of the visit, the MP for Tooting, a keen boxer and the club doctor at Balham boxing club in south London, strapped on her gloves and was put through her paces by two Fight for Peace coaches.
Dr Allin-Khan discussed Fight for Peace’s work, in London and beyond, with members of our Academy staff and was able to gain an insight into the holistic methodology we employ in working with young people.
“I am pleased to be working with organisations such as Fight for Peace who use boxing and martial arts to create positive futures”, said Dr. Allin-Khan following the visit. “Boxing clubs are in the heart of their communities, where it is not just about boxing, it is about family.”
Fight for Peace’s public health model focuses on three levels of violence prevention. At the primary level, support and opportunities are offered to all young people living in communities affected by crime and violence. The secondary level focuses on young people identified as at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of crime and violence while, at the tertiary level, young people are supported to disengage from crime and violence and avoid reoffending or being victimised again.
“At Fight for Peace, we support young people to realise their potential, and we work with young people to prevent violence in their communities”, explained Head of Programmes at the London Academy, Jacob Whittingham Vigors. “As a boxer, Dr Allin-Khan knows the enormous power of combat sports – used within a holistic approach and in a safe environment and values based framework – to achieve this mission. We are delighted to be welcoming her to our London Academy today to see our work first hand.”
The MP’s performance on the pads in the ring impressed London Academy coaches Aladdin and Kenny, both of whom are Next Gen members of staff – former members of Fight for Peace who have come through leadership programmes at the organisation and become employees. Next Gen is central to the implementation of Fight for Peace’s work and, at present, over 35% of Fight for Peace London Academy staff formerly participated on our programmes.
Aladdin has been involved with Fight for Peace for over five years and was a boxing participant and member of the London Academy Youth Council before starting in his current coaching role. “Everyone has a high potential, whether they reach it or not depends on their surroundings, environment and influences”, said Aladdin. “Fight for Peace is an alternative, it provides positive influences and prioritises the creation of an environment where young people can thrive. Dr Allin-Khan taking an interest in what we do at Fight for Peace is really important and I loved the fact that she spoke honestly, and was so human.”
The visit was convened by Fight for Peace funding partners, the Big Lottery Fund, which supports our work at the London Academy and more widely through an Alliance of community based organisations all trained in our Five Pillar methodology.