Boxing therapy a hit with young people

7th March 2024

A charity that delivers non-contact boxing training and therapy is helping to keep children in Torfaen active and in school.

Youth charity Empire Fighting Chance is working with schools in Cwmbran and Pontypool, delivering training sessions to selected children as an alternative to the curriculum. It has also been working with some of Torfaen’s young carers to help them relieve stress and develop coping mechanisms that will help them as they juggle school with their caring responsibilities. 

Empire Fighting Chance’s coaches integrate non-contact boxing with mentoring and psychological education, using the gaps between training to discuss appropriate behaviours and have open and honest conversations with children about issues that may be affecting them.

Luke Jones, head of operations for Empire Fighting Chance, said: “The children we work with often struggle with traditional classroom learning for a range of different reasons. We can engage them with the boxing, get them moving about and having fun, and this allows them to relax and open up to us about the issues that are affecting them.

“We have found that children who may have a history of missing school very rarely miss our sessions, and teachers report back that they are seeing noticeable improvements in behaviour and school work too.”

Empire Fighting Chance has been supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s community fund since 2022 and has supported about 100 children and young people in that time.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said: “We know that children who miss school regularly are vulnerable to becoming involved with crime and antisocial behaviour.

“Projects such as this are helping to keep children in school while also providing a huge range of benefits in terms of physical and mental wellbeing. The coaches at Empire Fighting Chance are reinforcing good behaviours and positive thinking which, I hope, will contribute to these young people having a happy and healthy future.”