Lionhearts website charlotte leslie MP
23 March 2017

Four Sports & Fitness students from our Boxing Academy programme have helped launch the second year of the award-winning British Lionhearts in the Community project at the House of Commons.

Marques Sobande-Stone, Ala Poursaddami, Amjit Balamohan and Riael Campbell met with Charlotte Leslie, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Boxing and Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage in the Thames Pavilion and demonstrated their skills for the assembled onlookers.  

The event was organised by British Lionhearts in the Community - a fantastic organisation who aim to change people's lives through boxing.  Their first year saw around 2300 participants get involved in BLITC events, with 85% being forwarded on to clubs. Twenty percent of participants reported they had been previously inactive, indicating that the BLITC model is succeeding in reaching people not currently involved in any sort of physical activity. Over 100 people have also trained as volunteer coaches, with almost 100 more waiting to go on their course.

Marques was introduced to the Hammersmith Boxing Club after attending a BLITC event, and is now a successful amateur boxer winning his first two fights and developing his coaching skills.

"Last year I saw one of the mobile arenas and they told me how to sign up for the Hammersmith Academy. Boxing training has impacted highly on my life because of the discipline it has given me. It's helped my mindset and motivation and made me driven in other things too."

Charlotte Leslie, MP for Bristol North West and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Boxing has been a big supporter of boxing in Great Britain. She said:

“British Lionhearts in the Community is everything we want to see in boxing. It will grow exponentially as it has been a huge success. People have misconceptions about boxing, but there is so much more to it and we are celebrating what it can do for social change  

“The numbers we are talking about (~2300 participants) are actual lives that have been changed. Through boxing, we’ve seen academic achievement go up and mental health and self esteem improve, and it’s also a brilliant way to get fit.”

Hammersmith Boxing Academy allows young people to study for a qualification in Sports & Fitness while receiving high level training to develop a career in amateur boxing. The College also runs academies for basketball, football and futsal. Find out more at wlc.ac.uk/courses/sports-academy