Punching above its weight: can boxing save our kids?

Sunday 21 October, 5.00pm until 6.15pm, Hammerson Room

Much of the discussion about boxing today seems to focus on the sport’s ability to change lives. More than any other sport, reports of a boxer’s success are loaded with tales of the hardships and derpivations they have overcome. Numerous charities and social enterprises aim to transform young people’s aspirations and disciplines through the sport, on the assumption that, in the words of former Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, it ‘can be a way of disengaging kids from gangs, carrying knives, from low-level crime and high-level antisocial behaviour ... it reaches young people that other sports don’t’. So is there something about boxing that uniquely affects troubled youths, or is it simply that the majority of successful boxers happen to be from working class communities? What, if anything, should be the role of the sport in education? And does the focus on the social implications of boxing detract from the sport itself?

Tom Ogg
pupil barrister; author, Boxing Clever

Rhodri Oliver
district councillor, Cabinet Member for Planning and Assets, North Norfolk District Council

Chair: Ed Noel
teacher; former schools and alumni coordinator, Debating Matters Competition

Produced by
Ed Noel teacher; former schools and alumni coordinator, Debating Matters Competition

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