The gloves are on
Wanneroo Police, in conjunction with GreenZone Fitness and Danny Green, has established a boxing program which engages at-risk youth.
The program targets young people who are no longer part of the education system due to drug dependency, behavioural issues, anxiety or bullying. Young people are identified to participate in partnership with Alta-1 College, White Lion and Youth Justice.
Wanneroo A/S/Sgt Mark Cannon said the aim is to provide participants with a positive outlet, improving self-image, establishing positive role models and preventing youth offending.
“The gym and Danny Green are heavily invested in the program,” he said. “We’re being provided with a purpose-built boxing room and a personal trainer. The PT, Danny Green and I train the kids utilising various bag and pad sessions as well as group and one-on-one development.”
Participants report gaining inspiration from the facilities and the high level of engagement by all of the program’s stakeholders, who have a clear focus on each young person’s holistic wellbeing.
Youngsters are rewarded for continuous attendance. After six weeks without missing a session they receive a bag containing their own boxing gloves, hand wraps, drink bottle and gym towel, provided by GreenZone.
Those who commit to the program over the long term have the opportunity to complete a sports scholarship at FIT College. “Danny Green has said he will personally pay for some of these scholarships and the College has stated that they will provide additional free scholarships,” A/S/Sgt Cannon said.
“The program has already produced a number of success stories with two youngsters now attending every session after essentially not leaving their bedrooms in the past two years. Carers are reporting a massive improvement in the mental health of these young people. For others, drug use has stopped. One of the girls has said she would like to become a police officer, and for others engagement with education has resumed. These changes in behaviour have brought some carers and teachers to tears.”
Currently 20 young people between the ages of 10-17 are involved in the program.
Watch a short video about the initiative below.