Lancashire TelegraphBringing boxing and ballet together in Burnley (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Bringing boxing and ballet together in Burnley

Lancashire Telegraph: PROGRAMME Sean Ruane and right, Mark Felix PROGRAMME Sean Ruane and right, Mark Felix

OPERA singer Sean Ruane and East Lancashire ring legend Brian Roche have teamed up to bring ‘boxers and ballerinas’ together.

Boxing hopefuls and dance divas got together to create an unique performance combining pugilism, rap and classical music, at Roche’s gym in Burnley.

And Prince’s Trust workers are looking at taking the pioneering pilot initiative nationwide after seeing how it brought young people from across the area together in two very different disciplines.

Sean and Brian teamed up with world’s strongest man, Rishton’s Mark Felix, and Rob Edmonds, the former SAS soldier and trainer from ITV’s The Biggest Loser, programme, to devise a series of workshops for 18 to 23-year-olds.

Under the banner of Get Started, a Prince’s Trust programme, and Sean’s own campaigning scheme, CHANT (Communities Harnessing and Nurturing Talent), the collective began each day with physical and vocal workouts.

Sean, who grew up in Bacup, said: “We've been looking at bringing music and sport together through CHANT so that’s how we came up with Boxers and Ballerinas.

“We wanted to show the similarity between sport and the arts, that you need the same kind of dedication and application, and talent. This all came together with a 10-minute performance, which took place before a number of dignitaries.

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“I’ve spoken to the Prince’s Trust and they are now thinking about taking this scheme nationwide. It was fantastic to see everyone working together on this.

“And it was great to get help from the likes of Brian, Mark and Rob, with all of their background and knowledge in their own areas. It really worked well.”

Previously the Getting Started scheme had concentrated on the merits of football, drama and outdoor pursuits in East Lancashire.

In-demand Sean has performed at a number of high-profile sporting events, including England football internationals and the Rugby League Challenge Cup final.

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