Knife-point robbery leads Kenilworth teen to organise local boxing club

Oscar Selby training in the boxing club at The Kenilworth Centre
Oscar Selby training in the boxing club at The Kenilworth Centre

A Kenilworth School student is helping organise a boxing training club for youth at The Kenilworth Centre.

Fifteen-year-old Oscar Selby, who attends Kenilworth School, is working to organise a boxing training course to be held on Saturdays at the centre.

He has just finished a three-week boxing training course on Wednesdays led by former British middleweight champion Wayne Elcock entitled ‘Keep Calm and Box On.’

Oscar said: “After being robbed and threatened with knives over the summer of 2017, I decided to take up boxing.

“Boxing is a way to bring together kids from different sides of town to train, learn respect, self-disciple and help to stop the knife crime issue expanding in Kenilworth.

“There should be a boxing club in Kenilworth so that if muggings and knife threats happened again, they would be able to defend themselves.

“Boxing also helps prevent other people going and doing these things by creating self-discipline.”

Oscar will be organising the second boxing course, which includes a professional coach, as part of the volunteering section of his Duke of Edinburgh award.

His mother, Gayle Selby, who is a radio presenter on Radio Abbey at the Kenilworth Centre, said: “Oscar is so proud to have started this project from his own initiative and has been helped by the Kenilworth Centre team to make his dream become a reality.”

Wayne Elcock, who led the first course, said: “What do we often see happen when kids start to box? Overweight kids lose weight. Bullies learn humility.

“Girls are empowered. The weak become stronger. The timid find courage. The uncontrollable learn self-control. The unhealthy get fit, and everybody learns the sport is all about discipline, respect, and has absolutely no place for violence and anger.”

Holly Hewitt, the manager at the centre, said the boxing club is non-contact boxing.

The next boxing club organised by Oscar will start in late October or early next month.

Holly added: “The aims are around self-discipline and anger management and knowing how to release anger safely.

“We wanted to do an anger management course, but we didn’t want to call it that. We wanted to find an engaging way to reach young people.”

The boxing club is available to area youngsters aged 11 to 16, and comes with a fee, but some sponsorships are available.

The boxing training club is just one of several programmes offered for local youth at the centre.

The centre also offers two youth clubs on Friday afternoons, mentoring at Kenilworth School, mindfulness courses including yoga, first aid courses so that local youth can become CPR certified and babysitting skills courses.

The centre also offers a cinema for young children on Saturday afternoons every fortnight until the New Year. For the latest showing see their website - http://www.thekenilworthcentre.com/ or the Abbey Cinema Facebook.

The programmes are all made possible with donations and support from Kenilworth Rotary Club, The Kenilworth Lions, Kenilworth Town Council and Kenilworth United Charities.

The day to day management of the charity and community centre is now self-sustaining, although support is required via donations and grants for youth activities and Radio Abbey.

Radio Abbey, run through the centre, has expanded its schedule of shows hosted by local people.

Gayle Selby added: “The last year has seen a new manager at The Kenilworth Centre.

“Holly has supported amazing growth in her first year by supporting and guiding all different people to use the space for community activities and projects. The youth outreach workers are the unsung heroes who engage with and support so many teens in town and encourage them to learn music, sports and other activities to help them grow and develop and keep them out of trouble.”