Fight for Peace is an international organization which uses boxing and martial arts combined with education and personal development to realise the potential of young people. Fight for Peace (FFP) supports young people in communities affected by crime and violence by creating new opportunities for them and supporting them to make the most of existing opportunities. FFP have an academy in Newham which is supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation. FFP in Newham were awarded with a £750 grant by the Foundation to support their Twilight sessions.
Fight for Peace used the funding for equipment for use during junior sports sessions, called Twilight sessions. The grant funded the purchase of junior head guards, small training gloves and hand wraps.
Their twilight sessions take place three times a week and are open to all young people age 7 to 14. They are free to attend and consist of a combination of boxing and personal development (PD). PD aims to equip the young people with the knowledge and skills required to live healthy, positive and productive lives. The boxing element of the classes aims to instil skills such as dedication and discipline, while helping young people to get and stay fit, and by providing positive role models through the Coaches.
From January to November 2016 200 young people attended the Twilight sessions. The equipment funded by the Small Grant has been vital in catering to the growing numbers of young people who attend the Twilight sessions, as well as the increasing numbers wanting to part in sparring. Without headguards of the right size and gloves of the correct weight young people cannot spar safely and therefore cannot take part.
The contact boxing element of the sessions has become a very useful tool for the Coaches in terms of enforcing good behaviour and consistent attendance as, without both, young people are not allowed to take part. Furthermore, young people are attracted to the idea of contact boxing and so it is a useful engagement tool to get young people interested in the sessions.
The impact of FFP’s Twilight sessions is clearest when you speak to one of its users; eleven year old Tofarat is a dedicated Twilight participant and during 2016 was successful in becoming a member of FFP’s Youth Council.
“Twilight has changed me so much. I have changed my behaviour, my attitude, and my grades, just from going somewhere three hours a week. Everybody I knew had told me that I had so much knowledge in my brain but Fight For Peace unlocked it all. The discipline the coaches have given me and the skills I picked up from Twilights has brought in a completely different person from that shy childish boy. The coaches have given me so much that I will be eternally in debt to them so I will repay them by training hard every day for them. I've only been practicing in Twilights for around 2 years, yet I feel I've been here my whole life. This is my home now and this is my family.”
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