Date: 21st February 2014 at 4:10 pm
Written by: Cameron Sharpe | Comments (0)

World famous father and son boxing duo, Joe and Enzo Calzaghe, explore the impact a local boxing club has on the community of Newport, South Wales, in the latest documentary around The Supporters Club, BT Sport’s charitable initiative. In StreetGames with Joe Calzaghe, which premieres on Wednesday 26 February at 9.30pm on BT Sport 1, Joe also reflects on his own childhood in Wales and how boxing helped him to turn his life around.

For the first time five years, Joe steps in the ring to spar with the keen young boxers who train day-in day-out – and they put up a good fight. The documentary is an honest examination of how sport can overcome challenges within a community. Joe also meets the heroic coaches and volunteers who work tirelessly to keep the club open and affordable and talks to members of the community that benefit from their work.

Joe was eager to get involved with The Supporters Club as someone who understands the difference sport can make to a young person looking to their future. He grew up round the corner from Newport, was bullied at school and was unsure of what the future held for him. With the support of his father and coach, Enzo, he started boxing and it had an incredible impact on his future. Not all the youngsters Joe meets may repeat Joe’s sporting success, but all benefit from the support of their local boxing club.

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Joe said: “I grew up in a tough area and when I was bullied at school, I struggled to understand myself. I became introverted and didn’t have any self-worth; boxing gave me the discipline, strength and focus I needed to respect myself and others. During the filming, I witnessed first-hand the joy boxing brings to these youngsters – it could almost be me 30 odd years ago. I loved meeting them, sparring with them and finding out their stories. We must ensure that local clubs and coaches are supported to enable them to continue their great community work.’

BT Sport, through The Supporters Club, is raising money to use the power of sport to change young lives and has given grants to grassroots projects across the UK and around the world. BT Sport customers can simply add £1, £3 or £5 to their monthly bill and BT will match it pound for pound*.

The Supporters Club fund has given a grant to StreetGames, a nationwide charity that uses sport to tackle issues around employment and education by strengthening the links between community and local sport.  It works with the boxing club in Newport to ensure that the coaches and club use their love for boxing to help young people become mentors themselves, build confidence and skills, access education and employment, and engage with their community.

Other charities being supported in the UK and overseas will be revealed in the coming months and those projects will feature in documentaries on BT Sport. BT is covering the costs of the Supporters Club fund, which is managed by Comic Relief.  This means every pound will make a real difference.  The documentaries show the impact of the money raised by The Supporters Club – demonstrating to customers the difference their donations are making.

For more information visit www.thesupportersclub.org or follow the Supporters Club on twitter @supporters.

*Up to a total of £1 million. The Supporters Club fund is managed by Comic Relief, registered charity No. 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland).

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