A BOXING club is launching a Gloves not Gangs campaign in a bid to get kids off the streets.
Vauxhall Motors ABC, based in Little Sutton, wants to get more youths involved in the sport to deter them from going down the wrong route and causing trouble in the community.
The club says boxing can provide youngsters with ambition, discipline and respect.
Gloves not Gangs will officially be launched by MP Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, at Motors’ base in Station Road on Friday, November 28.
Dave McDonnell, who has been chairman of the club for nearly 30 years and came up with the idea for the campaign, told the Pioneer: “We feel this is a great initiative and one that is appropriate with the way society is going.
“When you see the number of kids on street corners, it’s a case of trying to engage them, not ignore them.
“We probably get about 50-60 kids in the gym, only 25 of those will box. With no disrespect to the kids, because when they put those gloves on they have achieved, only a small percentage will go on to win titles.
“But the point is it’s not just about them. The first aim is to provide the kids with a good facility to turn them into healthy athletes.
“No one is ever forced to get in a ring. It may be that it’s three or four years before some have a contest. What we do is get them involved in the training.”
Paul Butler, who is the father of successful Vauxhall Motors’ fighter Paul Jnr and books the club’s bouts, says boxing can have a hugely positive impact on youngsters.
He said: “It makes them better, rounded people.
“It’s great when you see the discipline the kids have at the club.
“They learn to listen. I always emphasise to parents that the kids don’t have to get in the ring and box, we can just teach them everything they need to know about boxing.
“You see 30 or 40 kids aged between 11 and 15 hanging round outside shops and it’s clear they need something to do so this campaign is a fantastic idea.”
To join Vauxhall Motors ABC, contact the club on 339 9979 or 07971 476605.