A NEW boxing fitness club is being launched in Blackburn to try and combat the growing issue of anti-social behaviour.

Neighbourhood policing officers in the Mill Hill area are launching the club on Friday (next week) and hope it acts as a diversionary activity for young people from the Mill Hill, Infirmary, Griffin and Galligreaves areas.

PC Leo Noctor, who came up with the idea, said: “Anti-social behaviour is an issue in Mill Hill like it is in many other areas.

“When I have been out on patrol I have been talking to the young people and it was them who suggested setting up a boxing club.

“The focus of the classes will be on fitness rather than fighting.

“I train myself and I know that a big part at being good at boxing is being able to master the discipline.”

The group will be run by semi-professional heavy weight boxer Adam Machaj from Accrington.

Initially members will learn the basic skills of boxing before progressing on to improving their fitness.

Anyone who then wants to progress their skills further will be invited to join more advanced boxing training classes at Fit to XL gym in Darwen.

PC Noctor said: “The aim of this group is really to channel the energy of local youths into something productive.

“I hope the classes will keep them busy and prevent anti-social behaviour which can be upsetting for residents.”

Funding for the club has been secured through Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Community Safety Partnership.

Mill Hill ward councillor Carol Walsh, said: “This club is a really great idea that can only have a positive effect on the local community.

“Local children have asked for this facility so they will hopefully use it.

“Residents should also see the club as positive as it will help curb the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour.”

The first sessions are being held on Friday from 7pm at Ivy Street Community Centre followed by a separate session at Mill Hill Community Centre from 2pm on Saturday.