RETIRED world champion boxer Johnny Nelson has set up a new charity which aims to give youngsters a fighting chance of success in sport - and encourage older adults to get active.
Johnny Nelson’s Sporting Pathways will start work in South Yorkshire but could expand further, said Owls scout Jim Hope, who is working with Johnny on the initiative.
Fundraising starts when the charity holds a launch ball at the Mercure St Paul’s Hotel, Sheffield city centre, on Friday, March 16, the night before Kell Brook fights British rival Matthew Hatton, brother of Ricky.
The event will be attended by personalities from Sheffield’s boxing world and aims to raise hundreds of pounds.
Jim, aged 52, said: “The idea to set up the charity partly arose because of the difficulties I was aware young people had getting spotted.
“We heard how in Africa, some unscrupulous people are offering people a trial with an English club in exchange for hundreds of pounds - when no trial will be available.
“Young people in the UK also have problems knowing who to turn to if they have talent and want to develop further.”
The organisation aims to help encourage people with funds and equipment so they can practise, and put them in touch with the right contacts if they have talent.
Johnny added: “It is all about creating opportunities for youngsters.
“When they, or more specifically the parents, can’t afford the gear then they have no chance of taking part, so we’re looking to provide the gear for them. We want to get into schools and make it easier for kids to compete.”
n For information and ball tickets, log on to www.jnspcharity.org or rusporti.com.