Co-founders Bradley and Jeremy explain what the project Future Champs is all about:
Future Champs – Youth Boxing Gym – Social Enterprise Model – scalable solution – great for both the urban and rural contextFuture Champs builds youth boxing gyms constructed from repurposed shipping containers in the most under resourced and vulnerable communities of South Africa and sets them up as social enterprises. Our process begins with the identification of coaches, who are trained in collaboration with the Good Sport Trust (internationally certified physical education training and youth mentorship qualifications) and supported to run these gyms as sustainable social enterprises and community assets.We use boxing as our medium to engage and attract youth, but the gyms go beyond a simple boxing club they become hubs and a space for youth activity. Boxing training and amateur competition framed within a personal development and mentorship program lays a perfect foundation to engage youth facing the challenges of poverty, crime and lack of opportunities. The gyms become a beacon of positive youth activity, a public amenity and community asset changing space in urban poor communities. We target youth from between 6 – 21 years old and have many girls taking up boxing, which immediately develops confidence, self esteem and is great for self defense.The sport of boxing has deep roots and a rich history in the South African context, along with soccer boxing remains a mass popularity sport. Despite the fact that there is very little investment in the sport our boxers continue to perform on the world stage and are positive role models for underprivileged youth. It is now time that we build on this heritage and invest in the future and develop this legacy to create new opportunities for the youth of South Africa.All our gyms are fitted with a classroom where members of the gym participate in homework sessions and remedial classes, we are developing this into a major component which includes formalized monitoring and evaluation – so that we can track kids school performance and improvement as a result of being part of the gym.Because the gyms are constructed from repurposed shipping containers it makes them a fantastic branding opportunity and CSI Investment for corporates. The financial model is set up where corporates can invest in a gym as a social enterprise and wrap the entire gym in branding essentially creating an outdoor 3D billboard. In this way they can invest in a high visibility, high impact social project and still enjoy fantastic tax breaks, up BEE and CSI points. Thus they would contribute to the gyms construction and then enter into a contract to contribute a monthly amount towards the running costs in exchange for the branding.Every gym is fitted with a boxing ring at the centre which allows the gym to double as a venue, meaning on a monthly basis amateur tournaments can take place creating another revenue stream and a way that the gym directly links with its host community. We are also planning that where possible the gym develops private clients during times that the youth are not training where revenue can be generated from personal training and fitness classes.