December 2015: Big Lottery Fund are putting Young People in the Lead by recruiting four young people to the decision making committee for our Empowering Young People programme. They will help decide how to allocate £50 million of funding between now and 2021. Find out more
By Andrew Kennedy
The latest edition of our BIG magazine is out now, telling the stories of people across Northern Ireland whose lives have been transformed thanks to the support of the Big Lottery Fund. This week we’re featuring extracts from a few of the moving and inspirational articles featured in the latest edition.
READ ANOTHER EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT FROM THE MAGAZINE HERE: The story of a boxing club in Monkstown that is using sports and education to prevent young people in the area turning to anti-social behaviour and crime……
It’s 5:30 on a dark Tuesday night in November and the gym at Monkstown Boxing Club is packed with young people being put through their paces.
The venue is a hive of activity. In one corner a group of 8 – 11year olds are taking part in a skipping session, while in another, a couple of local girls are learning how to hit one of the club’s punch bags.
The winter weather clearly hasn’t put these committed young people off and the evening’s training session is in full swing.
Up in the boxing ring, Head Coach and Youth Programmes Manager Paul Johnston is refereeing some sparring between two local teenagers.
“This is a great club. Young people love coming here in the evenings,” explained Paul. “We’ve a dedicated group of young people of all ages who come along every week, rain or shine five nights a week, and our numbers are increasing all the time through the support of the Big Lottery Fund. And it’s not just boys. The success of women’s boxing at the Olympics has also got a lot more girls interested in the sport.
“Boxing is a great way of harnessing their energy and passion and teaching them about self-worth, respect, hard work and dedication.”
But teaching young people to swing a decent left hook is not the only skill on the programme. In the far corner of the room a group of young people, hands already taped, are sitting on benches, eyes down as they concentrate on the day’s homework……………………….
If you would like to read more on this story order a free copy of our BIG magazine by emailing our communications team at: email@example.com