A POLICE-led boxing program to engage teenagers in Armidale will take to the ring, or the floor at least, next week.
Fairfax Media revealed the plans for the youth-orientated program in May, and after financial backing, it’ll get off the ground at the Armidale PCYC on September 13.
Three times a week, mentors, as well as police and community leaders, will box one another in a bid to boost self-esteem and confidence in the kids, build respect and relationships, as well self-discipline with the local teens.
The Nanyapura scheme – which means all of us in the local traditional language – was developed from the successful Redfern program, Clean Slate Without Prejudice – and aims to engage kids from 10 to 18 in Armidale.
Nanyapura means all of us, and the key to the success of this program will be the support and assistance of the Armidale community coming together and providing a place of positive influence.New England Inspector Roger Best
“Nanyapura means all of us, and the key to the success of this program will be the support and assistance of the Armidale community coming together and providing a place of positive influence,” New England Inspector Roger Best told Fairfax Media.
“We’re aiming to ensure kids are given the opportunity to thrive, and learn.”
The upcoming launch follows a delegation of police and five teens who just returned from Sydney after visiting the Redfern program that counts Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs and NSW Governor David Hurley, as regular faces.
“We took down five teenagers we saw as candidates to take leadership roles in our program,” Inspector Best said.
“It was certainly an eye-opener for some of them.”
The classes will be held at the Armidale PCYC, followed by the language and life-skills lessons, and open to both girls and boys.
The local push was born out of one-on-one talks with several teenagers who came into contact with the law – something police are hoping will help give other kids a helping hand and the opportunity to get back into school and follow their dreams.
“The program is Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6am with an hour of boxing fitness, followed by breakfast,” Inspector Best said.
“Then after breakfast, there will be time for learning where we will be teaching traditional language and health and lifestyle lessons that will then expand into other educations lessons that will be tailored to the kids.”
The program has two mentors so far with Pathfinders – a non-government organisation that supports and provides accommodation for displaced youth in Armidale – jumping on board to spearhead the program, something that is invaluable, Inspector Best said.
But there are plenty of more spots for locals to get involved.
“Obviously the success of the other programs speaks volumes and for us to achieve results, we need the entire Armidale community to come together to support us,” Inspector Best said.
“We’re looking for further support for locals to help mentor youths and ongoing financial assistance from Armidale businesses.
Pathfinders, Juvenile Justice, Armidale police, the PCYC and the Department of Education are primary participants and we’re fortunate enough to have secured funding from the Ex-Services Club, and Coles Armidale are coming on board to provide breakfast for the children.Inspector Roger Best
“Pathfinders, Juvenile Justice, Armidale police, the PCYC and the Department of Education are primary participants and we’re fortunate enough to have secured funding from the Ex-Services Club, and Coles Armidale are coming on board to provide breakfast for the children.
“This is not going to work without the support of the community.
“Now we’re looking for key community leaders to participate, similarly to Redfern which has the NSW governor and human rights commissioner.”