Fight with Insight
What? Fight With Insight is a boxing project for young offenders who have been referred by the courts for a Diversion Programme (a part of the South African youth justice system) after committing an offence. The Diversion Programme consists of two components which run consecutive to each other. One component sees the child attend the boxing session, and on the same day, move on to the Cognitive-Behavioural Group Therapy Component. This runs for twelve sessions, after which some who have completed the programme are selected to enter the Box Office Boxing programme. By offering boxing as an alternative therapy, Fight With Insight aims to use emotions that may have been responsible for getting them into trouble in the first place – violence and aggression – as the tool to help make alternative, positive decisions about their future and relationships with others. The objectives of the project are to provide an effective way of channelling impulsive anger into alternative outlets. Rather than just forbidding certain actions we encourage the improvement of physical fitness and self-discipline which allows participants to develop self-esteem. Ultimately, we hope the project can break the cycle of abuse and prevent young offenders becoming adult offenders.
Where? The Diversion Programme takes place at the Teddy Bear Clinic, under the supervision of programme coordinator Victor Mbinga. It is run by renowned promoter Anton Gilmore, who unsuccessfully challenged Cassius Baloyi in 1997 in Johannesburg for the WBU Super Bantamweight World Championship. Gilmore is a firm believer that community work is essential to help wean young people off from crime and violence. His motto is: ‘If you fight on the street, then you can’t fight in my gym.’
Outcomes? There are rules in boxing that parallel those in life: respect for others, abiding by the referee’s decisions, accepting the judge’s verdict and when the fight is over, the need to move on. Participants are introduced to positive role models from their experiences at Fight With Insight and are able to follow the educational messages in a positive and enjoyable context. The belief is that young people need to be guided to behave appropriately through life-skills training, rather than through a punitive criminal justice system.
Contact Fight with Insight
(Founder and Programme Manager)
Johannesburg: Braamfontein and Rossetenville
Tel: +27 11 436 1678
Cell: +27 83 653 0190
Fax: +27 11 484 4551