APPGB announces inquiry to mark riots anniversary

As Team GB boxers go for glory in the ring at London 2012 just one year on from last summer’s riots, a cross-party group of MPs and Peers has published the results of an ongoing investigation into the role that boxing clubs play in disadvantaged communities.

The survey, conducted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Boxing, shows that while many clubs are performing an important role in their communities, they face significant challenges when it comes to accessing funding.

The group contacted clubs in parts of London and Bristol hit by last summer’s riots, and the responses they received revealed the following:

  • Of the 1200 boxers reported to be regularly attending clubs in riot-hit areas (of which 223 were identified as young offenders) only 3 were identified as having participated in the rioting.
  • On average, clubs gave a score of 4 out of 10 when asked to rate how easy it was to secure funding, with 1 being “absolutely impossible” and 10 being “really easy”.
  • The most common financial challenge identified by clubs was a lack of available funding streams.

Charlotte Leslie MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Boxing Group, said:

“The week that we might see Team GB win gold in the ring at London 2012 is also the anniversary of last summer’s riots. This is a timely reminder that sport, and boxing in particular, can make a huge difference in the lives of young people who might otherwise take the wrong path. Someone who was rioting in 2011 may, had things gone differently, have ended up competing for Olympic glory in 2012.”

“This survey is only the start of a much more detailed examination of the role played by boxing clubs and sport more generally in areas affected by crime and anti-social behaviour. The vast majority of clubs we have spoken to told us they are facing an uphill struggle to find funding. This is something that needs to change if we are to ensure that more young people are given the support and structure they need to make a success of their life.”

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