Ex-champion Conteh helps launch new Fighting Chance programme at Islington BC

Former boxing champion John Conteh MBE with attendants at The Fighting Chance launch at Islington Bo

Former boxing champion John Conteh MBE with attendants at The Fighting Chance launch at Islington Boxing Club (pic Eugene Lum) - Credit: Archant

Islington Boxing Club hosted the latest launch of The Fighting Chance programme, with a visit from former champion John Conteh MBE.

The scheme is designed to motivate people and get them closer to finding work, engaging them through boxing training, linked with one-to-one support.

Fighting Chance aims to help people find work or just get back into training, runs until April and is open to anyone of working age.

It is suitable for any level of fitness, from complete beginners to those who may have boxed before and welcomes applicants from BAME (black, asian, minority ethnic) backgrounds.

Conteh gave a motivational talk to participants about his life and career, in particular the challenges he faced throughout his life and how he overcame them.

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He said: "The Fighting Chance is a great company and runs great programmes. It helps you find direction in your life and improve your physical fitness at the same time."

The Fighting Chance runs across London but has strong links with Islington BC, with several courses held at Hazellville Road each year.

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Using the boxing principles of discipline, teamwork and self-control, it keeps participants engaged and motivated, providing specialist advice and guidance on finding sustainable employment.

It offers one-to-one support in finding work based on each person's needs and has seen more than 70 per cent find jobs or training by the end of the programme.

Founder Imran Khalil added: "I set up The Fighting Chance to support and actively target the hardest-to-reach and those furthest from the labour market. Our work targets groups overrepresented in unemployment demographics and areas of multiple deprivation."

"We use boxing training because it's really effective at motivating people. Evidence shows the training helps mental strength, and the ability to take personal responsibility. These are all skills that can be used to overcome barriers to finding work."

"We believe employability support should focus on helping people overcome barriers to employment. Everyone should get the support they need to get the careers they deserve - including those people who opt out of, or are excluded from, the system entirely."

*The Fighting Chance in London is a Community Interest Company (CIC) founded in 2015 by Imran Khalil.

It provides personalised and effective employability programmes through the sport of boxing to get people back into work.

The programmes engage people through boxing training and targeted employability support designed to address individual employment needs.

The company is a not-for-profit organisation and is currently funded by Equip Community Grants and The Army Covenant Fund.

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