North West apprentice Ali delivers boxing outreach sessions at LightBeam

June 7, 2023 | by Chris Boyd


North West apprentice Ali-Yousri Assad has begun his second batch of community outreach sessions which aim to bring the benefits of boxing to new communities.

Ali’s latest programme is taking place at LightBeam Academy in Nelson, Lancashire.

The academy is a supplementary religious school, providing religious studies, workshops, and sporting activities for young people.

Ali delivers one-hour sessions every Tuesday, prioritising fun and interactive games that can improve fitness, and confidence and invoke interest in boxing.

England Boxing and Ali’s engagement with LightBeam came about following the conclusion of Ali’s six-week programme with Holy Trinity Primary School, also in Nelson.

Israr Raja, director of LightBeam Academy, contacted Ali to bring the outreach programme to his school and has been delighted with the addition ever since.

“It is a great opportunity for the kids, and we are showing them a variety of sports and activities that we are running here at the LightBeam.

“We now have an activity for everyone!”

Community outreach sessions allow England Boxing apprentices to go into schools and community clubs in their respective regions and make introductory boxing sessions available to communities that might not have been afforded that opportunity.

Each apprentice is provided with a boxing kit bag, which contains essential equipment from boxing gloves to tag-boxing kits.

Funding for outreach programmes like this one has come from Sport England and Ali emphasises the importance they could have on a young individual.

“You never know how these sessions could go on to impact the lives of the participants. It could lead them on a good path and even ignite their passion for sports and boxing.

“The future World Champion could be ignited from these sessions, but that is not the goal. If we can introduce as many young people to boxing as possible, and positively improve their lives, then we are happy.”

While Ali uses the word ‘if’ to describe the hope of positively impacting young people through boxing, the reality is that he’s already accomplished it.

“The best example of behaviour change came during the Holy Trinity outreach.

“There was one particularly shy girl who was too scared to try things in front of her peers, however by the end of the programme she was always the one trying the hardest.

“Overall, I think these sessions have been a huge success and the number of participants has grown as the weeks have gone on.

“The positive impact is already being felt as my boxing club, Roche ABC, has had some new members off the back of these outreach sessions.”