As I stop and reflect over the last six months, I find it quite remarkable what Boxwise has managed to achieve.
It was always going to be challenging launching a new initiative against the backdrop of Covid and the implications that has had, and continues to have, on group activities in a sporting environment.
However the whole Boxwise team have persevered and managed to achieve some quite outstanding results.
Boxwise is now operational across five London sites and by the 14th September, it will see venues operating nationwide including in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, as well as disability boxing in Sheffield and Wales.
We have seen nearly 100 young people already graduate from our 13-week program since April, which is testament to the dedication and professionalism of our staff and trainers.
Our next steps have included placing some of our students into higher education and employment, with some notable successes across catering, personal instructor training and level 1 boxing coaching courses.
By October this year, we will see over 200 people per week across our adult and youth cohorts passing through our 13-week programme.
However, this is not the time to rest on our laurels. Youth gang violence is at an all-time high. Lockdown provided a false reading in terms of violent crime reduction.
Within London, there has been an exponential rise in gang related murders since April 2020, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
Nationally, the impact of County Lines continues to wreak havoc across small rural communities through the transportation and provision of drugs. Additionally, there has been a large rise in the request and provision of mental health services for young people since the lockdown was implemented.
It is therefore critical that, at Boxwise, we continue to expand and build our infrastructure, whilst also ensuring that in the pursuit of growth we remember to consolidate and maintain levels of consistency and stability to all those to whom we deliver our programme.
Please continue to support and follow our journey over the next six months, as I hope to showcase to you all the power of engagement. We hope that once it is provided to young people, it will help them be the best that they can be.