YOUNGSTERS put a top police officer through her paces by showing her their new boxing skills.

Children, aged between six and 10, learned basic boxing skills during a week-long course at Castle Hill Police Boxing Club in Castleton Street, Tonge Moor.

To round off the week youngsters were presented with certificates for their achievements from Ch Insp Carol Martin, from Bolton police, who was given a demonstration by the children.

All of them have now signed up for regular boxing classes at the club.

Ch Insp Martin said: “The children presented a detailed demonstration for me which was fabulous. They showed just how much they had learnt.

"They knew all the moves and demonstrated them so energetically and enthusiastically.

"I am so pleased to see the club providing such a worthwhile course to get kids out from their TV or computer games doing something physical and learning discipline.

"The kids had obviously thoroughly enjoyed their time, made friends and I would encourage people from the local community to go along and join in.”

The children also impressed Mayor of Bolton Cllr Colin Shaw, who visitied the club on a different day to give children awards.

Dean Cocozza, a coach at the club, said: “The head coach John Hart brought the awards in but we are a police community club and it is good to get the police involved.

"When police attend it forms that bridge with the kids. It makes the them realise police are just the same as us but they wear a uniform.

“Boxing is all about discipline. It is unlike any other sport — you can’t play at it, you have to eat, sleep and breathe it.”

The club prides itself on the work it has done to turn the lives around of youths at risk of making bad decisions and getting into trouble.

Karl Day, aged 24, used to get in trouble with the police and took drugs. But he was kept on the straight and narrow after visiting the club.

He is now in the Army and competes for the Armed Forces.

Places are available for children on the next course during the Easter holidays.

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