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Limehouse coaches looking to ‘KO Racism’ with launch of new campaign for boxing

PUBLISHED: 10:30 07 August 2017

Youngsters face the camera at the launch of the KO Racism campaign

Youngsters face the camera at the launch of the KO Racism campaign

Archant

Boxing personalities helped launch a new ‘KO Racism’ campaign at the Spotlight Youth Centre last week.

Founded by England coachese Mark Collings and Shah Rahman, of Limehouse Boxing Academy, the campaign is aimed at 11 to 17-year-olds to educate them on the multi-cultural nature of boxing and encourage diversity.

Supported by the Mayor of London, the event also had former WBC European and British flyweight champion Charlie Magri as chief guest.

He said: “It’s beautiful how our communities are united through sports like boxing. It’s amazing to see how happy the young people look. Boxing is an outlet and it kept me out of trouble when I was a young man. It’ll serve the same purpose for those who choose to benefit from this programme.”

Two-time ABA light-flyweight champion, Commonwealth Silver medalist and GB Boxing Performance coach Darran Langley told the youngsters: “Enjoy the sport and let the discipline enrich your good nature. A boxer has a short career but if you love boxing it can only be beneficial in the long run.”

KO Racism is asking youngsters to commit to anti-racism and eliminate discrimination, with emphasis on wiping out racial intolerance and abuse online, particularly on social media.

The team will visit schools in London with a mobile boxing area, encouraging youngsters to pull on gloves and learn about the sport along with some of its stars, including Lawrence Okolie.

The open-air community event at Langdon Park was also the launchpad for a school educational programme, which featured a presentation, short film and Q&A session.

Collings said: “KO Racism is a celebration of the richness of our sport and the fact its history is closely linked to the many waves of immigrants who have populated the UK from the start of the 20th century.

“We plan to go into schools with some big names from the sport, to explain how diverse boxing is and how boxing gyms are at their best when they are a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, all working together.”

Rahman added: “This is a campaign Mark and I have been developing to highlight how positive social integration that takes place in boxing clubs and promoted by positive role models helps develop people from all walks of life.

“We will be delivering workshops in schools, colleges, boxing clubs and other organisations to educate young people using boxing as a vehicle for engagement.”

For further information on the programmes available at Limehouse Boxing Academy contact mark_collings@live.co.uk or shah.rahman@live.co.uk.

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