Boxing scheme packs a punch

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A BOXING scheme set up in Chesterfield to keep youngsters out of trouble is set to be extended thanks to a £462,000 grant.

The OzBox project was launched eight years ago by Chesterfield police officer Steve Osbaldeston, offering boxing-based fitness sessions designed to boost confidence and self-esteem.

Thousands of young people aged between 11 and 19 years old have taken part in the sessions so far and at a meeting of Derbyshire County Council members agreed to donate £462,000 to the project to target even more young people at risk of spiralling towards crime.

Under the scheme six new community gyms will be opened in parts of the county with high levels of deprivation and anti-social behaviour.

They will offer 12 one-hour Ozbox sessions each week of the year for up to 50 young people at a time.

And up to 300 volunteers will be recruited and trained as coaches to deliver the sessions combining circuit training and non-contact boxing skills in schools and their local community.