Posted on 7th March 2011
The launch of weekly Ozbox classes at Mackworth Community centre are proving to be a real hit with the local youngsters.
The sessions started six weeks ago on a Thursday night, 7.00 until 8.30pm and have grown in popularity over that time period.
The sessions, run by off-duty police officers, combine circuit training and boxing skills and are designed to improve confidence, discipline and fitness.
Youngsters involved in crime or anti-social behaviour, or those who are at risk of becoming involved, are encouraged to take part.
Police Community Support Officer Mark Smith, The Derby City Ozbox trainer said: "The first session originally had six youths attending but popularity increased and attendance grew week by week, with 25 to 30 youngsters coming along in the last few weeks.
"The youngsters have stated they really enjoy it and many have asked for it to continue."
Paul Pegg, Chair of Mackworth Estate Community Association (MECA) who requested for the scheme to take place in the neighbourhood and Inspector Darren Roberts, Section Inspector for Derby North both agreed that so far it has been a success.
On Thursday 3rd March certificates were given out to all those that attended the course, along with prizes for those that put in the most effort.
Ozbox was developed seven years ago by Derbyshire police officer Sergeant Steve Osbaldeston. Steve said: “The sessions have grown so much we are looking to keep them going and are looking for permanent premises on the estate.
“Volunteers from within the estate have stepped forward to be trained as Ozbox trainers and will soon be ready to hold sessions themselves.
”The funding for this training was down to Paul from MECA who agreed to fund the cost of their coaching courses.”
The scheme is aimed at young people aged between 12 and 19 and is designed to encourage them to get fit rather that being involved with gangs and anti-social behaviour. It also gives police officers a chance to build relationships with youngsters in their area.
There are several Ozbox sessions taking place across the county. Please see www.ozbox.org or www.facebook.com/ozbox.
To contact you local Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team please call: 0345 123 33 33 or visit www.derbyshire.police.uk