A trainer to some of boxing’s finest fighters will train disadvantaged youths to prevent them from turning to crime.
Peterborough’s Kevin Sanders trained world champions Nigel Benn and Lloyd Honeyghan and was in Frank Bruno’s corner when he fought Mike Tyson.
And after retiring from boxing which guided him to a successful career after a difficult to start to life, Kevin is now looking to instill discipline into today’s youngsters with a new academy which has received £20,000 sponsorship from Peterborough City Council.
Kevin will work with city schools, youth offenders, troubled families and people with disabilities to steer individuals aged 10 and above away from the wrong path in life.
He will work with the council and Cambridgeshire police to bring people to the academy at Vic’s Gym in Phorpres Way, close to Serpentine Green.
Kevin was proud to show off the facilities at the gym as he announced the academy’s opening this morning (Monday, September 14).
He said: “Vic has allowed us to have his gym for four hours a day for schools, youth offenders, troubled families - anybody who wants to come off the street and not be bullied or attacked.
“Youth offenders, they come out and sometimes have nowhere to go. They’re on the streets late at night having fights, bullying. We need to get them off there.
“I come from a troubled family. I was an orphan. These troubled families have nowhere to go and don’t get life skills. Being in gyms you learn life skills.
“By getting fit you learn discipline, by learning discipline you learn respect for your coaches and the place where you train.
“Then what we will try and do is talk to them and get them on the right direction, getting them do their school work.”
The not-for-profit academy is expected to open early in 2016 and will be open for four hours every work day.
The money raised will pay for items such as t-shirts, gloves and bandages and to pay for the facilities.
Further funding is also being sought to keep the academy running.
Youths will not have to pay to take part in the sessions and if anyone shows a talent for boxing then contact will be made to another club about them,
Chief inspector Robin Sissons said: “I think it is great we have got schemes like this that we can let kids come and learn discipline, motivation and fitness in an organised structure.
“It’s a positive thing that whilst they are doing this they are not getting themselves into trouble through boredom.
“That’s why we gave this our full backing.”
Joe Wright, an instructor at the gym, said: “Kevin has taken world champions to the top and now he’s come to the bottom to drag people up. It’s brilliant.”
Top middleweight fighter Cello Renda, from Peterborough, who is fighting Jack Arnfield in a British-title eliminator on Saturday, October 3, was also there for the academy opening.
Although he is not part of the academy Cello - who is part of the Peterborough Youth Boxing Project and Boxing Futures - wanted to show his support for Kevin.
He spoke about the benefits working out in a boxing gym can bring for people who have a lot of anger.