Twilight sessions at Fight for Peace provide young people aged between 7 and 14 with a fun introduction to combat sports, intertwined with an important focus on personal development.
The mental and physical impact that boxing and martial arts can have supports us in implementing discipline into our lives, teaching us many life lessons, and influencing how we see the world, and ourselves.
It also has the power to support us in developing in other areas of our lives, and so through combining combat sports with personal development in the sessions, we aim to encourage the Twilights to develop healthy habits, as well as boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Delivered by coaches Kenny Udenwoke, Nathaniel Hounsihoue, and Youth Worker, Athena Bashar, Twilight sessions teach fun ways to learn and engage in boxing through interactive games which teach the basic principles of the sport. Coaches are also trained to deliver personal development exercises promoting ways to adopt positive physical, and mental health.
These include discussions encouraging young people to understand their emotions, allowing the space for them to speak openly about how, and why they feel the way they feel about certain topics or issues, as well as work towards overcoming them.
Coaches also deliver more structured personal development in sessions such as engaging the Twilights group in exercises focused on the importance of money management, health, and nutrition, but in a way that they can relate to, and educating them in an interactive way.
Currently, our Twilights summer sessions are in full swing, as we invite our young members into our Academy across three afternoons a week during the summer holidays.
The importance of keeping our Twilights programme running over the summer is emphasised by many parents still working during school holidays. A lot of young people may be responsible for feeding themselves and keeping busy during these times.
The two-hour sessions kick off with an hour of sports, followed by a healthy lunch which encourages young people to be more conscious of what they eat. To round up the week, every Friday afternoon the Twilights team take young people on an educational or recreational trip. So, it’s not only a chance to stay fit and healthy during the summer holidays, but to spend time connecting with peers, and the Fight for Peace team.
By introducing young people to combat sports at an early age, it has the ability to open more doors, and allow the opportunity for young people to decide whether they would like to continue developing their skill in the sport, and take it forward in their lives.
So far, we’ve seen some incredible progression of young people who started their boxing journeys in Twilights sessions and are now competing.
Eniola Akingbesote is one of these young people, taking boxing under his wing, and has recently won his second national title. In 2018, Eniola became the London Boxing Junior Development Champion, and in 2021 he brought the London Boxing Youth Development Champion title home for team Fight for Peace!
It’s always a pleasure for us to witness the inspiring journeys of all of the young people we work with, and as we continue to deliver this programme, we hope to see more of our Twilights develop and grow into inspiring athletes and young adults.