SHEFFIELD boxing champion, Barry ‘Kid Galahad’ Awad, has been helping young people stay out of trouble by visiting schools to talk about how his life has changed thanks to the sport.
Barry (22) has been working with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) Education and Safety Team at schools in South Yorkshire to add extra punch to Personal Health and Social Education (PHSE) lessons by promoting public transport to young people, highlighting behaviour issues and focusing on choices and consequences.
Barry started boxing at Ingles Boxing Gym, St Thomas, when he was 14 after he was expelled from school and banned from all buses, trams, youth clubs and swimming baths in the city.
Brought up in a deprived Sheffield neighbourhood, he has been working with SYPTE since March and is keen to help young people to avoid the troubled life he was destined for before he found boxing.
“I was never in a gang but I used to get in fights all the time. I used to fight on the buses and I would fight with the drivers. I was banned from everything. I just wanted to be successful and I knew I had to train every day for that to happen.
“SYPTE help children that might not have had the best opportunities or background to engage and find something positive to do. Their work emphasizes the importance of behaviour, discipline and education and gives kids focus, much like boxing has done for me.”
Barry’s involvement with SYPTE has included working with Nohmaan Hussain, a year 9 pupil at King Ecgbert School. Nohmann began boxing four years ago and has since been crowned National School Boy Champion.
Nohmaan, said: “It was awesome to meet Kid Galahad as I’ve seen him fight before, but to meet him in person was amazing. I am determined to get to the Olympics and represent as an amateur and meeting him made that dream come closer.”
SYPTE Education and Safety Team Travel Advisor, Fran Cockerill, said: “It’s an example to all that someone who caused so much trouble on public transport has turned his life around, into a young man whose determination and dedication has won him the WBC International super-bantamweight title.
“We are delighted he is now using his past experiences to help us deter young people from making the wrong choices when travelling on public transport.”
Barry will compete live on Channel 5 against Brampton boxer, Josh Wale, on 12 May at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffield.
For more information visit travelsouthyorkshire.com/onboard