Boxing club that turns children's lives around up for PCC award
A boxing club run by former World Champion Wayne Elcock
has been nominated for a Police and Crime Commissioner's
Outstanding Citizens award.
Box Clever, based at Solihull's St Andrew's Centre, has
turned hundreds of children's lives around, reduced crime and
boosted fitness, self-esteem and community-relations.
The scheme has been nominated for the PCC's Outstanding
Community Project award, the winners of which will be announced at
a ceremony on July 13 at The REP in Birmingham.
Wayne, who is a former English, British, Commonwealth and
WBU World Boxing champion, initially intended to run the scheme,
which has strong links to the local council and police, for just 12
weeks but it proved so popular it is still going four years
The 42-year-old said: "Boxing 100 per cent turned my life
around. It gave me focus, vision and positivity and kept me away
from people and things I shouldn't be near.
"It's hard to find role models on the city streets:
very often the role models are people kids should not be aspiring
to. But boxing coaches can guide young people away from that life.
As soon as I stepped in the gym, I knew it was for me and the buzz
was second to none. This is about proper recognition, not street
"My main objective is to mentor and train the kids and turn
their lives around. It's not about making champions in sport but in
life. It's all about self-confidence, discipline and esteem. It's
about instilling them with an inner individual drive.
"When I was boxing in London people would say 'he's
forgotten about us'. But I knew the more titles I won, the more I
could put Birmingham on the map and come back and help. I grew up
in Shard End with no money and no hope and the kids can see that
I'm living proof that you can turn your life around. They look at
me and see what I've done and they get inspired. It was only
supposed to be a 12-week programme but it snowballed because it was
so popular. It's great that there's a free programme like this
available in an under-privileged area that gives the kids a real
"I tell the kids 'behave at school and don't give your
parents any grief' and it really works. The centre we're based at
now has seen a 100% reduction in crime. Before, its windows were
smashed and there was drug paraphernalia about but that's all
changed now. We have 400 kids every week. There are now 36 amateur
boxers at the club and 27 came through the programme. There is also
one national champion in there. It's moving along in the right
direction and it's a dream come true."
Wayne said he was 'thrilled and delighted' to be nominated
for the PCC's award.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
Jamieson said: "The awards are our
chance to say 'thank you' to those people who make the West
Midlands a better place.
"Wayne's non-contact boxing club is a perfect example of
what a bit of community spirit, hard graft and discipline can
achieve. He and his boxers are a credit to our region."