Champion Lisa boost young Bradford boxers

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Under 13 boxers with PCSO Richard Eastwood, PCSO Charlene Henegan, PCSO Tony Hooson and GB boxer Lisa Whiteside Under 13 boxers with PCSO Richard Eastwood, PCSO Charlene Henegan, PCSO Tony Hooson and GB boxer Lisa Whiteside

Police community officers in Bradford are really boxing clever to steer young people away from crime.

For the last month, PCSOs Charlene Henegan and Tony Hooson have been spearheading a special project in Heaton, using boxing workshops to hammer home principles of discipline and respect.

And they are being helped by sporting champion Lisa Whiteside, a former police officer who has triumphed as a boxer. She has been working with young people and police at the Zara sports centre in Heaton as part of the Sportivate boxing youth scheme. Its aim is to teach basic levels of boxing and promote good behaviour, self-esteem, anger management and personal well-being.

PCSO Henegan said: “Not only will this increase personal fitness levels, but also help boost relationships with police and get these youths off the streets.”

Four-time ABAE boxing champion Lisa Whiteside – ranked number two in the world – describes the project as ‘fantastic’ and aims to resume her support in January.

She has been taking part in hourly sessions at the centre to share her experiences and enthusiasm for sport. “I told the young people that sport is a meaningful activity and an alternative to crime,” she said.

PCSO Hooson said: “This is a chance for young people to get off the streets and do something for themselves.

“It gives them discipline and has helped breaks down barriers between youths and police.”

Paul Porter, a sports academy manager at Bradford College, also praised the scheme. “It is a true Olympic legacy,” he said.

“It offers young people a high quality sporting chance which supports their physical, mental and education aspects.”

Most of the funding for the project comes from Sportivate via West Yorkshire Sport and it is sponsored by sportspeople and the police.

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