Our flagship programme is a 20-week programme combining non-contact boxing with mentoring and psychological education. Created by Empire Fighting Chance in partnership with highly regarded sports psychologist Sam Kotadia, the Training with the Champions programme features a structured selection of activities, with each week’s session named after a famous boxer.

Our coaches intersperse physical activities with individual or group discussions, at targeted points of the session where the young person is in a receptive mind set, having just engaged in exercise they enjoy. Each week we communicate one simple, powerful lesson about the mind to create healthier thinking. Young people, for example, learn how to bounce back after failures and to control their anger.

As trust develops, our coaches support young people to establish personal goals and draw on their learning to take positive steps towards achieving them, such as returning to school, making new friends or finding a job.

As a result, several of our programme graduates have now taken on to mentoring others on boxing. After working with Shiren, 15-year-old Matt can now count our sports psychologist Sam Kotadia as his first personal training client. Dontae, Iestyn and Matt take turns to coach players from Gloucestershire County Cricket Club. We are also very proud of Abdi, who has gone from his first sessions with us to studying a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

We will continue to share the successes of our young people as we continue to grow as a community-keep an eye on our news section for regular updates.