Burnley boxing club aims to knockout youth unemployment
YOUTH unemployment has been dealt a knockout blow by a Burnley boxing club.
Top coach Brian Roche teamed up with the Prince's Trust to help boost the confidence of 13 jobseekers, aged 16 to 25, during a week-long programme.
Mr Roche, who runs the club in Briercliffe Road, said: “Some of the lads have no confidence whatsoever. This makes them feel good in themselves and keeps them fit.
"And it keeps them off the streets and doing something worthwhile. It’s hard for them while there’s no jobs around. Luckily the situation is getting better now, but it’s still not great.”
And it wasn't just boys who took part in the course, which covered the rules of the sport, techniques, weights and how to fight as well as how to write CVs and apply for jobs.
The top coach said: “We’ve got some good girls. They are massively involved since seeing girls boxing in the Olympics and they are doing very well.”
Awais Javid, programme executive from the Prince’s Trust, said: “We wanted to go to the underground people, a local business in Burnley, because there’s no point spending it in big businesses if we want to leave a legacy and create opportunities.
“So we approached Brian with the plan and happily, he agreed.
“I come down every day with Brian. He’s the boxing expert and I’m the expert with young people.
“When they are tired and having a cool off after a work out, often they want to have a chat about their career ideas and options.
“This programme teaches them confidence, discipline and team building, which are all desirable skills in a potential employee.”
The Prince’s Trust offers anyone who takes part a further three months of mentoring with more focus on job applications and the boxing club offers them the same period to continue training for free.
Mr Roche said: “I think the course is great and I’d love to extend it to people of all ages in the future.”
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