Skip to main content

Elite boxer returns to Westminster to support kids just like him

Image
is local professional boxer, Ashley Theophane and Cllr Roca, Cabinet Member for Young People, Learning and Leisure - at Treasure Boxing Club, Moberly Sports Centre

Pictured is local professional boxer, Ashley Theophane and Cllr Roca, Cabinet Member for Young People, Learning and Leisure - at Treasure Boxing Club, Moberly Sports Centre

Published: 31 August 2022

  • Elite boxer, Ashley Theophane has set up a boxing club in Queen’s Park, where he grew up, to support children and young people in Westminster
  • The Council has provided an additional £240k of funding to provide young people with activities and food this summer - part of this funding has enabled Ashley to run a summer programme
  • 6-year-old Ty, from Queen’s Park, says when he grows up he will be “a professional boxer and the champion”

Ashley Theophane is a former world title contender from Westminster. He has had sixty professional fights, achieved a remarkable fifty wins and trained in some of the world’s toughest gyms, from London to Brooklyn, including Floyd Mayweather’s very own club in Las Vegas.

Now, Ashley has returned to his home borough of Westminster and specifically, Queen’s Park to give back to his community and support kids just like him.

Ashley said:

I was born on Harrow Road many many years ago. It’s kind of a deprived area. There’s a lot of kids – they get into crime, they get into things they shouldn’t do.

For me, sport was my way onto a better path. Exercise and sport can help you to stay away from things you should not do, so for me, it helped me to achieve my dreams.

I’ve been all over the world but I’m from Westminster and I’ve come back home, because I want to give back to kids just like me.

Despite the toughness of his sport, Ashley is a soft spoken and humble figure and a role model to local children and young people.

He set up Treasure Boxing Club a year ago and its studio in Westminster is based from Moberly Sports Club, the very sports centre where he started his career at just 8 years old.

The club teaches young people to learn the basics of boxing – how to throw a jab and defend oneself and how to work in a team and build confidence.

This summer, the Council provided an additional £240k of funding to support young people and children with free activities and food over the holidays. By working with the Young Westminster Foundation, part of this funding has enabled Ashley to run a summer programme.

This has supported over 90 children from Westminster, aged 6 to 13 years, who are on free school meals or whose families are experiencing financial hardship, to attend the club for free and benefit from fun fitness activities and healthy, nutritious eating over the holidays.

Ashley said:

We get kids here, they play games, they do teamwork. They do one on one skills, they learn how to box. And they have lunch. It’s just four hours of fun.

The additional funding has meant we have been able to do more. We can hire more staff and reach more kids. We can do more for our community. We’ve had 90 kids sign up to the summer programme and it’s growing. In such a short time, we have done a lot of work and I am very proud of my team.

Image
Dora pictured doing a boxing drill at Moberly Sports Centre

Dora is one young person who has benefitted from the club this summer. She is 11 years old and from Maida Vale.

I decided to take part in the club because it seemed like a fun thing to do and I wanted to try it out. I’ve learnt boxing and doing races with other people. The best thing about it is playing all the fun games and especially, when we go versus the teachers. I think children should get involved in clubs like this because it’s a fun thing to try out and they can make more friends and learn to work in a team.

Image
Louis posing for the camera with his boxing gloves

Louis is 7 years old and has attended Treasure Boxing Club everyday this summer.

I’ve come here everyday in the summer holidays. I play games and I love too many things. I’ve made friends and love the different drills. Other children have to join.

Image
Ty posing for the camera with his boxing gloves

Ty, like Ashley, is from Queen’s Park and at just 6 years old has big dreams. 

My favourite teacher is Ashley. I would give local children advice to work hard and try their best. I think I’ll be a professional boxer and will be the champion.

Philip Baron, CEO of Young Westminster Foundation:

We have been aware from talking to families of the need for additional activities for children this summer. This has been made possible through the additional funding. It’s been amazing for local families to have such an exciting range of fun and educational projects to choose from.

Councillor Tim Roca, Cabinet Member for Young People, Learning and Leisure said:

We have always wanted to provide more activities for young people in our city and we felt the cost of living crisis meant that we needed to do more and more quickly.

That’s why this summer, we increased our funding by a quarter of a million pounds to enable more children and young people in Westminster to have free activities and food over the holidays.

Treasure Boxing Club is a local project, led by a charismatic local sports figure. It is attracting children and young people from across the local community and supporting them to learn team skills, make new friends, keep fit and of course, get a bite to eat during the holidays which is really important. Local schemes like this are the lifeblood of our communities.