Mitcham gym offers disadvantaged youngsters a BTEC while they box

A boxing gym in Mitcham is about to take on 20 disadvantaged youngsters to earn a qualification while also training full-time.

The group of London lads will spend their mornings studying for a BTEC level 3 diploma in sport before hitting the Full Fitness Academy gym in the afternoon to sharpen their boxing skills.

The man behind the novel idea is Jordan Wilson from Upper Norwood.

Having played for Charlton and Fulham until the age of 20, he has first hand experience of learning while you train and sees this programme as a golden opportunity for a collection of underprivileged boys to flourish.

He said: “Some of them come from troubled backgrounds, some might have grown up in gang culture, it’s about moving them on and getting them to the next step.”

The coupling of a combat sport and education could, by some, be seen as a poor match.

However the skills needed to compete in boxing tie in perfectly with those required to learn – this is what separates the Full Fitness Academy from other sports-based qualifications.

Mr Wilson explains: “Boxing has been looked at as a negative sport for many years and we are trying to say no, it teaches you great discipline.”

Young adults whose frustration might otherwise cause them to take a wayward path can instead vent it in a productive manner.

The 25-year-old said: “If you like fighting then you should do it in a controlled environment and maybe you might be a good boxer.”

Despite his passion for sport, he is assured in his belief that boxing is the secondary aspect of the course.

“The education comes first, in order to box they’re going to have to complete the education in the morning,” he said.

“The two to three years that they will be with us will shape their futures.”

The programme will commence on September 14.

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