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‘Boxing saved me’ – how a former gang member became a role model for young people | UK | New UK News

To watch Wasem Said, 29, you would see a confident young man who runs his community boxing club. But in fact, it was boxing that helped Wasem change his life after the sudden death of his father 10 years ago and he fell into gangs.

“I lost my model when my father died. I struggled with my emotions – I was young and didn’t know how to show them, ”Wasem explains.

He has witnessed crime, drugs and violence – before sport gave him a positive purpose. After a friend persuaded him to try mixed martial arts, including boxing, at age 17, he started training at the gym three times a week.

“Boxing saved me,” Wasem said. “It was tough, but a positive challenge. I felt responsible for the first time.

Thanks to National Lottery players around £ 30million is donated to good causes each week and in 2018 this funding helped Wasem set up the Tiger Bay Amateur Boxing Club in Cardiff’s Butetown to help other young people avoid problems.

“It gives them self-esteem and positive role models,” he says.

In just two years, he recruited over 200 members to the Tiger Bay Amateur Boxing Club, struggling hard along the way to tackle anti-social behavior, racism, Islamophobia and poor mental health.

Wasem’s efforts were recognized when he won the 2020 National Lottery Sports Award.

The National Lottery Prizes are an opportunity to celebrate the inspiring work of ordinary people and projects that do extraordinary things with the help of funding from the National Lottery.

Wasem started the Tiger Bay Amateur Boxing Club to help other kids stay out of trouble

Wasem used this money to create a clothing brand for the club and buy a training kit.

“Winning the award meant so much,” he says. “Especially since we are such a disadvantaged community. Usually the attention we get is negative, so it is good to show that we are doing something positive.

“I hope this will help empower people and encourage young people to get involved.”

To nominate someone for a 2021 National Lottery Prize, all you need to do is complete a registration form at

Remember that all applicants must work or act for an organization funded by the National Lottery or have received funding from the National Lottery. Entries must be received no later than June 7, 2021 at midnight.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-27 23:01:00