Boxing lessons 'should be taught in every school in Britain to help fight knife crime'

BOXING lessons should be brought back as mandatory in all British schools, anti-knife campaigners say.

The Gloves Up Knives Down initiative argues learning to box at a young age would teach kids discipline.

It claims the sport – and getting children to join in with something rather than teaching them to fight – could be the key in combating the knife crime epidemic.

The group believes: "Boxing can be a positive route for providing positive interventions to young people at risk of knife crime.

"We believe that the discipline and respect that you learn through boxing can have a positive impact on young peoples lives, teaching them life skills that can have a positive influence outside of the boxing gym."

The sport has not been mandatory in physical education classes since the early 1960s when it gradually fizzled out.

And a petition set up this week has racked up over 2,000 signatures already calling for its reintroduction.

The group sent a tweet with its petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson which read: “Have a look at this Boris, lets get boxing back into schools to make kids confident and teach them discipline and structure.”

Famous fighters Davis Haye, Tyson Fury and Anthony Fowler have helped promote Gloves Up Knives Down since its inception this year.

The campaigners behind it say its ambition is to “lower the rate of knife crime by encouraging young people to take up boxing”.


It's website says: "GUKD is a response to the lack of meaningful responses to curb knife crime. It is a grass roots, high visibility initiative to encourage young people off the streets and into Boxing clubs.

"The boxing club environment, which has rigorous safety arrangements, teaches risk, and demonstrates that actions have consequences-simply put you can actually get hit if you don’t move quickly enough. The difference between real life and computer games could not be starker.

"Boxing teaches teenagers, for whom frustration and aggression are part and parcel of their youth, how to engage with others on their own terms, contributing toward developing a sense of worth and self esteem, perhaps after not having been able to do so in other areas of their life."

Knife crime offences increased by 7 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June 2019, Office for National Statistics data show.

There were 43, 516 knife crime offences between March 2018 and March 2019, and out of 44 police forces in the UK, 43 recorded a rise in knife crime since 2011.

Former boxer Kevin Mitchell said on Twitter: “Talking to a lot of different people about knife crime lately and everyone I talk to is agreeing it’s getting a lot worse.

“I think we need boxing back in schools and think this would be a big help and start to solving this situation.”

Earlier this year it was also revealed that a record number of parents are sending their kids to self defence classes in fear they would be stabbed.

In 2017/18, 8.7 per cent of youngsters signed up to martial arts, jumping from 6.4 per cent the year before.

Last week we told how knife crime is rising at a quicker rate in towns and cities outside London.

Statistics suggested the rate of attacks in large British cities is higher than some London boroughs.

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