Fire crews box clever with move to help youngsters

The instructors are (L) firefighter and head coach Tim Hillhead and (R) firefighter Duncan Peace, assistant coach, with members of the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service run West Hartford community youth boxing club.
The instructors are (L) firefighter and head coach Tim Hillhead and (R) firefighter Duncan Peace, assistant coach, with members of the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service run West Hartford community youth boxing club.
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FIREFIGHTERS are helping to keep youngsters fighting fit after setting up a youth boxing club.

The new community club meets at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters at West Hartford in Cramlington.

The idea to set up the club came from firefighter Tim Hill, a professional boxer before joining the service.

Tim said: “I have personal experience of the benefits that boxing can provide for young people, not just in terms of fitness and the social aspects, but because it builds confidence and self-esteem and teaches self-discipline and respect.

“I thought it would be great if we could provide young people in the West Hartford and Cramlington areas with an opportunity to join a boxing club run by the fire service.”

The club meets at the fire station on Fridays at 6.30pm, and five firefighters are doing Amateur Boxing Association courses so they are qualified to offer training.

Assistant chief fire officer Paul Hedley, also chairman of the steering group for the new club, said: “We have a long history of providing high-quality and award-winning youth initiatives, and I’m certain that the community boxing club will add to those previous successes.

“We were delighted to have more than 20 young people attend the first boxing session.

“While the boxing club is in its early stages, we have a very committed and enthusiastic team running the project, and we have ambitions to develop the boxing club into a project that runs on more than one night a week.

“The club also provides a platform for those attending to learn about the fire service and our role in the community in a broader sense.”

Coun Anita Romer, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for public protection, said: “This well-run club is an excellent idea.

“It allows young people to use the fantastic new facilities at West Hartford, proving that this community fire station and headquarters really does live up to its name.”

For more information on the club, contact Cash Davison on (01670) 591156.