UFC launches new youth mentorship project in UK

The UFC has announced a new multi-year partnership with the charity OnSide, which will see the MMA promotion create its first youth mentorship program in the UK.

A series of “Youth Zone” sites will be set up across the country as part of the partnership with OnSide which – since its founding in 2008 – funds and builds youth centers called “Youth Zones” in communities across the Kingdom. -United.

The charity provides youth aged 8 to 19 with affordable access to a wide range of positive activities and opportunities, as well as high-quality sports, arts and recreation facilities, throughout the year. Young people also have access to trusted youth workers, providing advice in areas such as employability, health and well-being.

The UFC – OnSide Youth Mentorship Program will be led by former UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa, UFC welterweight Leon Edwards and UFC middleweight Darren Till. Each athlete will lead a martial arts-focused mentoring program as part of the after-school health and wellness program in three OnSide youth areas of South London, Wolverhampton and Wirral.

The program aims to help young people develop the physical and interpersonal skills associated with sport – and MMA in particular – with an emphasis on ‘self-discipline and self-defense’, while providing them with access to coaches. and expert UFC instructors, in a safe and supportive manner in a familiar environment.

Classes will teach different levels of martial arts disciplines such as boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, judo, and Jiu-Jitsu – which the UFC says are fundamental to the sport of MMA. Along with the training, the program will also periodically host youth engagement activities with law enforcement from the South Zone Command Unit of the Metropolitan Police, providing police officers with the opportunity to continuously develop relationships. and trust the community.

“I am very proud that we have used our platforms and our positions to be able to give back to our communities across the UK,” said Jimi Manuwa.

“Violent crime, especially knife crime, is very evident in the cities where we all grew up and we want to help give these children other options in life that we didn’t have when we were growing up.

Kathryn Morley, Executive Director of OnSide, added: “Giving young people positive opportunities to have fun, get fit and connect with their peers will be even more important as we emerge from the pandemic.

“This partnership is a great opportunity to introduce the youth of the network to an incredibly popular sport, and we are excited to be working with the UFC to launch this mentorship program and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on. young people around the world. OnSide network of youth zones. “

Youth aged 12 to 16 will be eligible to join the program, which will include weekly classes over a period of six to eight weeks. Participants will be selected through a combination of pre-existing members from their local youth zone and the local community.

Participants in this program will also have access to educational courses, tutoring and extracurricular programs from the Youth Zone.

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