Boxer Ryan helps strike a blow for vulnerable youths

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SOUTH Yorkshire boxing icon Ryan Rhodes swapped his upper cut for the cut of scissors to open a youth project in Doncaster.

Gymsmiths, on Balby Road, has been opened as part of a scheme called Project Inspire, which aims to help youngsters aged 16 and over who are preparing to leave community care.

The former world champion chatted to youngsters and told them of the respect and discipline which was needed to make it to the top in boxing.

Project Inspire has been running for around 18 months, but the new gym is aimed at providing vulnerable youngsters with activities.

Ryan was invited to open the venue by support worker Sean Ludden, who knows him from growing up in Sheffield.

Youngsters taking part in the project are encouraged to get involved with the gym and to find training in subjects which interest them such as apprenticeships, often in subjects which allow them to stay out of the classroom.