Young people championing their lives through boxing and away from crime

ITV Central reporter Mark Gough went along to the open day in Bilston

Young people who might be having difficulties are referred by schools or health professionals to the Brightstar Boxing Academy in Wolverhampton to train in the ring.

It was founded by Joe Lockely who is a former amateur boxer himself.

He saw the benefits the sport brings to children who may be losing their way.

Joe said: "A young person who needs to feel like they belong somewhere.

"It's very easy for someone who wanted to exploit young people to get them to say, 'Yeah, you're part of my family, you're part of my group.'

"And then they'll be at risk of dealing drugs and be part of the gang and everything that went out before, get to that stage, help meet them needs.

"And boxing can give you that sense of belonging.

Matt Sen is one of the coaches and says it's hard to believe how much boxing can change a person.

"It's usually a very big difference. It's hard to believe that a person that you get the referral papers for is the same person that walks back out that door afterwards.

"They walk out very much more confident, focused, driven, ready to tackle the challenges that life gives them.

Siarra Wallace says her confidence has improved since learning how to box Credit: ITV Central

Siarra Wallace was having trouble at school, so she came to Brightstar and says her confidence has improved.

"I just didn't really get on move school with the rules. Like certain teaching styles.

"My confidence is just gone up like loads in every way. Feel better myself. I feel like they've really helped me to find myself.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Julius Francis also popped in.

He was in prison but says boxing helped him turn his life around.

"A boxing environment, a boxing gym is it's loving, caring, it's discipline. It's gets focus. And it seems to get results.

The organisation has opened two gyms in the Midlands and more are planned.