Budding young boxers have been learning about the benefits of choosing higher education as our team headed out into the community to help raise future aspirations.
Stockton Riverside College’s higher education engagement officer, Dan Jackson, paid a visit to the Natural Progression Boxing Academy where he spoke to youngsters about their future education choices.
The event was part of the North East Collaborative Outreach Programme’s (NECOP) Future Me initiative, a programme of activity to increase the number of young people from the region progressing into higher education.
“We made the link with the boxing club because it is a great way to reach young people and the Natural Progression Boxing Academy works closely with the community,” said Dan.
“These young people clearly have aspirations in their sport, which is great, but we want to encourage them to also think about the bigger picture and their future, giving themselves the best possible opportunities when it comes to attaining their career goals.”
To hammer home his message Dan pointed out to the young people that some of the boxing world’s biggest champions have degrees behind them, from the likes of Vitali Klitschko and Wladimir Klitschko who both hold a degree in sports science to Manny Pacquiao who has a business management degree.
He said: “Unfortunately only the small minority can go on to make it as a professional boxer and a smaller minority become world champions. While it is great if that is the ambition they should also have a backup plan or something to turn to after their boxing career.”
Imran Naeem, manager at Natural Progression Boxing Academy, said: “At the boxing club we understand that education plays a massive part in people’s future and that is a message always try to pass on to the young people.
“We have had a lot of success stories come through the academy, with young members who have gone on to successful careers in a wide variety of professions that they have obtained through higher education.”
The NECOP Future Me programme will see colleges and universities across the North-east working together to engage young people, helping them make informed choices about their future and improve higher education progression rates.
The 18 Further Education Colleges and Sixth Form Colleges working on NECOP plan to work intensively with over more than 3000 young people before the end of December this year.