Boxing lessons for minority groups to help social cohesion in Ipswich

Senior amateur boxing coach Carl Errington (back row centre with gloves on), Borough councillor Sand

Senior amateur boxing coach Carl Errington (back row centre with gloves on), Borough councillor Sandy Martin (back row, second from left), PC Gareth Northwood (bottom row, far left), PCSO Anoushka Richards (bottom row, far right) and members of the Muslim community. - Credit: Archant

A new police boxing scheme for minority groups in Ipswich has been praised for bringing the community together.

Weekly boxing sessions are now being held at Foxhall Community Centre – the former St Clements Sports and Social Club – after an Ipswich Borough Council funding boost.

The aim of the boxing lessons is to enhance the fitness of the community and build stronger links between police officers and minority groups.

Borough councillor Sandy Martin hailed the initiative, saying: “Getting fit, meeting the police, and supporting community groups – this initiative is doing all three.

“North-east area councillors were delighted to be able to help finance this police-run programme, which gives members of the Bangladeshi community and others the opportunity to get fit and work with local police officers at the same time.

“For younger people, I think it is also very important for building up their self-confidence.”

The boxing sessions are organised by the Ipswich North East Safer Neighbourhood Team and senior amateur boxing coach Carl Errington.

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Mr Errington, who is also a personal safety training instructor at Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Boxing is a fantastic sport which gives you different challenges and opportunities, and also gets the local community fit. This new exciting purpose-built boxing gym at (Foxhall Community Centre) aims to provide more opportunities within the community.”

Pc Gareth Northwood said “pro-active” community engagement schemes like the boxing programme foster good relationships between the police and minority communities.

He said: “Offering a police service that considers and represents every group in the community in which it serves is our goal.”

If anyone is interested in attending the boxing classes, call Mr Errington on 07709 324927 for further information.