Combating Knife Crime in London Schools

This September, we welcomed the return of our 12-Rounds programme across primary and secondary schools in London. Since being launched in 2019 the successful boxing programme has continued to educate young girls and boys about the dangers of knife violence.

Coaches on the programme use teaching methods that encourage defensive training over offensive training. Doing so allows young people to develop skills in controlled aggression, whilst avoiding injury or encouraging unnecessary violent behaviour.

The structured layout of each session, encourages the young people to circulate around a gym facility and build up skills in increasingly complex boxing combinations. Combinations are an effective training method that challenges the young people by building their strength, stamina and confidence. For many girls and young women in particular, the development of self-confidence is the greatest reward at the end of the 12-week programme.

Nadia is a head coach on the programme and is a fully qualified Level-2 boxing coach in Brazil and England.

Nadia shared: “Boxing is a great way to interact with young people and you can visibly see that most of them leave the programme with a developed sense of confidence and self-belief”.

Having boxed professionally and been an experience youth coach for over 10-years, Nadia has a gift for bridging her knowledge of boxing with her ability to verbally educate young people on the danger of knife crime.

Balancing physical coaching, group discussions and 1-1 conversations is a priority of the 12-Rounds programme. By using a variety of communication styles to address conversations around knife violence means that each young person is positively impacted by some form of education around knife violence. Group discussions at the end of each session make up a huge part of the programme because young people can navigate complex discussions around knife violence in a safe space.

Dean is the other head coach on the programme and builds trusting relationships with all the young people he works with. If you attend a 12-Rounds session with Dean, you will frequently hear him encouraging young people to speak out and seek support if they ever find themselves in a knife crime situation.

He shared: “Sometimes the most powerful thing you can teach a young person, is that speaking out and going to a teacher, parent or trusting person such as a youth worker if they feel influenced by situations involving knife crime”.

He added:” This programme has a record of success within schools and we are regularly asked to  return to schools to work with as many young people as possible”.