YOUNG boxers in Keighley impressed Children’s Services bosses during a special visit this month.

The City Hall pair learned how the diverse set of youngsters at Keighley Amateur Boxing Club were coached and nurtured by dedicated volunteers.

The club played host to Gladys Rhodes White, Bradford Council’s interim strategic director of children’s services, and Children and Families portfolio holder Cllr Adrian Farley.

The pair spoke to leaders and some of the 40 children, aged from 10 to 16, who attend twice-weekly training sessions at the clubrooms in Ingrow.

Cllr Farley said he wanted Gladys Rhodes White – who was awarded an MBE for her life and work with young people – to see the great work undertaken in the Keighley area for boys and girls.

He said: “I was overwhelmed with the commitment and effort of the volunteers at the boxing club, and the effort they’re taking to support young people of all backgrounds.

“I was also overwhelmed by the number of people who attend. It looks like the club has outgrown its premises. It’s a fantastic resource on our doorstep in Keighley – diverse and inclusive.”

George Metcalf, a former Keighley town mayor and one of the boxing club’s coaches, was delighted that the director spent at least an hour at the club.

He said: “She had a walk around talking to a few the kids and coaches. She was ever so pleased with how well the kids were doing and how they got along, and their diversity.”

Mr Metcalf said one of the issues discussed was knife crime, and how boxing clubs were playing an important role across the country in keeping youngsters safe.

He I did: “The youngsters get on so well because of the discipline of boxing.

“All over the country it’s been proven that’s boxing helps to get children away from knife crime because it gives them discipline, which is good for them in later life.

Keighley Amateur Boxing Club runs the youth sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm, and for over-16s from 7pm to 8pm.

Anyone interested in putting their son or daughter on the club’s waiting list should call on one of the sessions, which are held at Keighley Business Centre (Knowle Mill), next to the Hope and Anchor pub on South Street.