County lines awareness for teenage boxers at city club

A knife awareness session took place at Broadside Warriors Boxing Club on Tuesday 

A knife awareness session took place at Broadside Warriors Boxing Club on Tuesday - Credit: Contributed

A knife-crime awareness session at a city boxing club "hit home" for many city teenagers.

Broadside Warriors Boxing Club, in New Costessey, held a session this week in response to recent stabbings in the city. 

Around 30 youngsters attended the gym to learn about the perils of gang culture.

As well as educational advice on avoiding being coerced into gangs, the young boxers learnt emergency first aid and how to locate themselves using a phone map if they got into difficulty. 

Paul Lewis - who works as a police trainer in Suffolk - is one of the five coaches at the club who was running the session.

Paul Lewis, a police trainer in Suffolk, who is also a coach at Broadside Warriors Boxing Club

Paul Lewis, a police trainer in Suffolk, who is also a coach at Broadside Warriors Boxing Club - Credit: Paul Lewis

He said: "A lot of our boxers come from council estates and run down areas so they are at risk of being influenced by knife crime and drugs.

"I do believe they are very conscious of the issue.

"Some of them know lads who have been stabbed so it brings it a lot closer to home."

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The boxers learnt about different types of knives being used and took part in a practical session highlighting how easy it is to be stabbed despite knowing plenty of defence techniques. 

This was demonstrated using pens and a piece of paper being held against their torso.

Teenage boxers learnt about knife crime and county lines during a session at Broadside Warriors Boxing Club

Teenage boxers learnt about knife crime and county lines during a session at Broadside Warriors Boxing Club - Credit: Contributed

Mr Lewis said: "Our thought process was to get the message across to help them avoid putting themselves into the situation where they are faced with issues related to knives and that environment,

"It is not always financial motives for getting involved with gangs. Sometimes it is a sense of belonging if they do not have a dad or role model at home. 

"That feeling of being appreciated can sometimes be in a gang.

"We are lucky in Norfolk and Suffolk that we do not have county lines on the scale as other parts of the country.

"However since lockdown, I believe, there has been a steady increase in these activities."

A logo for Broadside Warriors Boxing Club in New Costessey 

A logo for Broadside Warriors Boxing Club in New Costessey - Credit: Broadside Warriors Boxing Club

Search @norwichbroadsidewarriors on Facebook or @broadsideboxingclub on Instagram for more information about the club.