Sheffield Boxer Honoured
Sheffield boxer Najmul Kahar was awarded Silver Participant of the Year by Sport England at a ceremony in Westminster.
Najmul, 15, had taken part in a project run by Sheffield’s Aspire Amateur Boxing Club and Sheffield Community Youth Team, participating in weekly boxing sessions in Firth Park, Sheffield.
Najmul had won the county and regional rounds, and fought off competition from over 100 other nominated participants, before making his way down to London for the National Awards held in the House of Commons. The clubs were presented their award by Zoe Smith, Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist and Minister of Sport, Helen Grant was also in attendance to congratulate the winners.
Najmul said: ‘It is a real honour just to be nominated and I am delighted with the silver award. Boxing has kept me focused and enabled me to make positive changes in my life as well as keeping me active. I have never been part of a sports club before, and I have learnt so much as part of this experience. The discipline and focus I have learnt here I have transferred into my school life and also been accepted onto the Police apprenticeship programme which I now volunteer for one evening every week.’
Ben Stewart, Yorkshire’s regional England Boxing club support officer, said: ‘The way that Najmul has turned his life around will hopefully inspire and encourage other young people. The effects of Najmul’s time with the club aren’t limited to boxing; he has improved at school and is giving something back to the community by volunteering.
‘Najmul has worked hard to make positive changes to his life and really deserves both the award and the opportunities that the project has presented him with.’
Kathryn Mudge, Sportivate Lead, ‘South Yorkshire Sport is immensely proud of Najmul for winning this award. He was made huge steps to transform his life, from a young person involved within anti-social behaviour, to a mature and dedicated young person who is a role model to others. Najmul has used the Sportivate sessions to improve his discipline, and since taking part in the programme has also been successful in gaining a Police Apprenticeship and volunteers time weekly as a Police Volunteer.’
Sportivate was launched in June 2011 with the overall aim of increasing opportunities for young people aged 11-25 to regularly participate in sport through a series of weekly sport sessions.
Backed by National Lottery funding, Sportivate aims to give young people who currently aren’t playing sport in their own time the chance to find a sport they like. The young people are then helped to find a club or other venue where they can keep taking part.
Since its launch, more than 420,000 young people have attended Sportivate sessions, with 350,000 completing their coaching sessions.