Valued as a ‘way to let our frustration and anger and instil self-confidence’, Hope in Haringey Youth has recruited two England Boxing qualified coaches, Bradley and Sansha Goddard to bolster and expand their HiH youth programme. They have begun to deliver diversionary sports sessions at Wood Green-based secondary school, Mulberry Academy Woodside.

By Omar Alleyne-Lawler, Communications and Police Engagement Manager

This boxing and fitness provision, which began in January 2024, marked the latest expansion in the charity’s diversionary sports programme. Previously focused on delivering sessions targeted at girls, boys and SEND student football sessions, the inclusion of fitness and boxing sessions by Bradley and Sansha’s sessions increases the HiH youth programme to three provisions across four sites.

The couple have been running boxing and strength and conditioning related camps since 2020.

Ran as two separate workshops for boys and girls class individually, the two coaches have been recognising the need to support students currently on on behavioural plans and who are at risk of suspension and exclusion.

“Some of these girls have problems with self-confidence, managing their anger and connecting with each other” said Sansha “but what is really good is that [by the end of the 3 months], you could see some of them really open up.”

As such the coaches have been working twice a week to help two groups of year 7 students get back on the right track.

With a girls-only session running on a Wednesday and a boy’s session on Thursday, the coaching duo are helping to use fitness as a tool for connection, development and self-regulation in young people.

Bradley and Sansha Goddard are both trained boxing Coaches.

On the sessions, Sansha added the “sessions went really well”, highlighting that the classes were a “safe space where young girls could open up” and provide a way in which the coaches could “use sport as a gateway” to emotional well-being.

“One of the girls went from not wanting to take part in the sessions at all and who was really withdrawn and [who kept] away from her peers to opening up and taking part in the sessions before growing in enough confidence] to coach her own session”.

The inclusion of boxing, fitness and conditioning sessions marks a concerted effort by HiH Youth to expand its range of diversionary sports sessions and ways in which it supports Haringey’s young people.