West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service put fourteen young people through their paces as part of its week-long ‘Get Started with Boxing’ initiative.
The course, delivered in partnership with the Prince’s Trust, used WYFRS staff trained by as BOX Instructors to teach young people from a variety of backgrounds about self-discipline, teamwork, healthy eating, first aid, personal responsibility and fitness.
The week ended with a celebration event where the young people showcased what they’d learned to parents, friends and carers, as well as staff from the Prince’s Trust.
Dave Walton, Assistant Chief Officer with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, spoke about how successful the week had been:
‘It is of massive significance that of the 14 young people that started on Monday morning, every single one of them was there at the end on Friday afternoon with a beaming smile on their face, having attended every session, on every day.
‘Many of them face, on a day-to-day basis, a whole range of issues which make that achievement quite extraordinary in itself. Listening to them speak during the event was genuinely inspirational, and I know it bought a tear to the eye of a couple of rough and tough people in the room.
‘Encouraging boxing on a fire station goes against the grain, and working with partners to deliver the course – the first time that such a course has been delivered like this – brings with it a risk to our reputation in terms of the range of activities that we are prepared to get involved with
‘For me it was a risk worth taking, and one that will help to shape our future service delivery. The fact that the course was so successful is, of course, a huge benefit. In some way it’s a demonstration of how we need to, and can, vary and adapt what we do to increase the relevance of the fire and rescue service in the community.’