Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham visited Timperley ABC to learn more about the Maverick Stars ‘Sting Like a Bee’ initiative.
Aimed at tackling anti-social behavior and the knife-crime epidemic, ‘Sting Like a Bee’ has set in motion a series of boxing and leadership programmes rolled out at boxing clubs throughout the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester. Timperley is the ‘key’ boxing gym for Trafford.
Each participating gym has received Maverick Stars funding and will work with the police, councils, schools and other organisations to identify and help the most ‘at-risk’ young people aged 8-25. Along with learning how to get fit, stay safe and up-skill, the programme incorporates activities with key partners including: Safety Guide, Challenge4Change and Street Doctors.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Andy Burnham said: “It’s brilliant that boxing clubs around Greater Manchester are coming together as part of the Maverick Stars Trust and saying: ‘What can we do to help?’ I think that’s a fantastic offer for someone in my position to get. I’m certain they can help and reach some reach young people that other agencies will struggle to reach.
“The key is getting them through that door. It’s a big step to walk inside a boxing club for some young people, so through this initiative, if we can help them do that, then once they’re inside they’re away! They can turn negative energy into something much more positive.
“Boxing is almost the opposite of what some people think it is. It has to be a disciplined environment. When people walk-in they see the reality of what it is, what it can do for them and the confidence it can give them. That’s a massive part of it.
“Why might a young person carry a knife? It might not be because they’re hard and they think they’re the best; it might be because they’re scared. They don’t have confidence and that’s where boxing can come in. It can give them a bit more confidence, a bit more pride in themselves and might take them from a very bad place to much better place.”