Young boxers learn to fight bullying

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A boxing club in Ripley is helping youngsters to ‘punch out pressure’ at its sessions.

The Ripley Amateur Boxing Club aims to assist children and young adults fight against anti-social behaviour and bullying within their schools and communities.

Free to under 18s, the club brings local children and teenagers from off the streets into the centre to take part in fitness activities, develop friendships and learn life skills.

Creating a sense of belonging, the group aims to teach the youngsters to respect each other and the town of Ripley as they grow into young adults.

Chancellor Ron Ashton, who founded the club, said: “Before the youngsters came here we had a lot on anti-social behaviour, purely as they had nowhere else to go.

“Ripley Amateur Boxing Club has not only got kids off the streets, but we’ve found that the antisocial crime rate with young people has decreased massively in the area too.”

Funded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthCalm CIC through The Health Lottery, the club is also helping kids deal with issues such as bullying. Working with children who have experienced bullying or may be vulnerable to bullying, the group works with youngsters inclined to be the perpetrators by building self-confidence and offering self-discipline.

Trainer Zoe Davies said: “Whether you’ve been affected by bullying or involved in it, the club builds a safe, respectable space.”