JQ champion to mentor youngsters in danger of exclusion
October 18, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny
A Jewellery Quarter super-heavyweight hopes to use boxing and his own life lessons to help turn around the lives of Birmingham teenagers in danger of being excluded from mainstream education.
Boma Brown (pictured, pre COVID-19) had a troubled upbringing but shunned a potential path into gang culture and crime, instead going to Coventry University to study for a degree and getting a job in the insurance industry.
Now the 25-year-old – a Midlands Champion at his weight – wants his journey to inspire others when he mentors kids from the Jewellery Quarter Academy, with the weekly sessions set to begin next week.
It focuses on young people from the Black and Asian community and has been made possible with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.
“The project is centred around the fact that young people in some of the poorest areas of Birmingham can end up believing they have very restricted chances in life,” said Jewellery Quarter Head Coach Mick Maguire.
“As a result, young people can then fall into the trap of the gangster culture and getting involved with drugs and robberies, thinking that is the only option open to them.
“Of course, we know that is not the case, but if I explain that to young people, when I am not a part of their community, why are they likely to listen to me?
“On the other hand, Boma, who has a similar background and encountered some tough times can relate to them. He’s a 6ft 6ins boxer and a champion, who can connect with them on their level.
“He can tell them there is another path, as he took in gaining a degree in Business and Law from Coventry University, and that they should not simply accept what they are told by other people. He will be a fantastic role model.”
The project is targeting 14 to 17-year-olds and will see them take part in boxing-related fitness activities with a fully-qualified coach.
It will particularly help them overcome problems encountered during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
You can find out more about the National Lottery Community Fund on social media using the hashtag #CommunitiesCan