Empire Amateur Boxing Club

Location: Bristol, United Kingdom
Combat sport: Boxing and Martial Arts
Focus areas: Youth engagement, youth crime and violence
Established: 1970
Joined the FFP Alumni: December 2012
Contact: Jamie Sanigar
Website: www.westcountryboxing.com

Empire Boxing Club is one of the UK’s most respected boxing clubs and has produced a number of World, European and National champions over the last forty years. The club is also famous for being based in St Pauls, an area of Bristol that suffers high levels of child poverty, gang activity, and drug use. As such Empire is something of a beacon of excellence and opportunity within a community in which many statutory services have failed.

Over the last five years Empire Boxing has begun to go beyond the scope of a traditional boxing club by working in schools and community centres and offering mentoring and personal development sessions to young people that come to the gym and need extra support. Because of the club’s reputation for producing real fight champions plus their long-standing presence within St. Pauls, Empire have considerable credibility with young people and a powerful ability to engage those that other providers don’t reach.

Empire are working with FFP to build on the social work they already deliver. They plan to formalise their approach to social programming, develop new services to increase the number of young people they work with and the depth of change they create, and work inside their organisation to create a culture and capacity to deliver on the increased social mission. Empire are also working alongside FFP to trial a new programme whereby networks of traditional inner-city amateur boxing clubs will partner with local authorities to help youth workers to support young people in troubled communities across the UK.