The boss of Mossend’s Fighting Scots Gym is trying to steer youngsters away from knife crime in a new initiative being run over the summer holidays.
Frank Gilluley is launching the scheme at a time when young people dying at the hands of blades often hits the headlines.
Frank told the Times and Speaker: “We will be doing stuff during the school holidays to keep kids active and keep them off the streets.
“We are trying to get them to put down their knives and put on their boxing gloves.
“I think a lot of the young ones don’t realise the dangers of carrying a knife.
“It is good to raise awareness from a young age.
“We were inspired to start this initiative after hearing about all the fatalities from knife crime, some of which have been on our doorstep.
“We need to change kids’ mindsets about carrying knives.”
Frank’s scheme was officially launched recently by boxing legend Chris Eubank, a former WBO middleweight and super-middleweight world champion.
Eubank’s trip north also saw him visit ex-Rangers ace Fernando Ricksen – who has Motor Neurone Disease – at St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie.
Although the exact dates are still to be finalised, a programme of activities on offer has been drafted out.
All kids of primary and secondary school age will be eligible to come to the classes at Fighting Scots Gym in Mossend’s Adamson Street.
Instructors – including Frank – will offer their expert boxing advice while warning of the dangers of knives.
The 90-minute classes will also feature physical exercise and boot camps, with activities taking place either indoors or outdoors depending on the weather.
Frank added: “We have not finalised a timetable, although the priority of these classes is raising awareness of the battle against knife crime.
“But we also hope that coming to our classes will give kids a break from looking at their phones or playing computer games.”
Fighting Scots Gym already takes junior boxing classes – which cost £3 per session – on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5pm, which are taken by Frank and his fellow coaches James Hughes and Liam Muldoon.
The provisional idea is that the new anti knife crime sessions will be held much earlier in the daytime and that these classes will also cost each participant £3.
See the FSG Facebook page or call Frank on 07767 636366 for more information.