Brixton-based community interest charity Dwaynamics hosted their inaugural Disability Sports Day on Wednesday.
Taking place under the arches in Loughborough Junction, the two sessions were attended by more than 40 children from the Mary Sheridan Centre for Child Health in Kennington and Sunshine House in Peckham.
Dwaynamics was founded by Pastor Lorraine Jones following the death of her son, Dwayne Simpson, who was stabbed while trying to prevent a fight on the Angell Town estate in 2014. The charity focuses on boxing and fitness training alongside workshops to support people into employment and entrepreneurship.
The idea for the Disability Sports Day came about when one of the attendees of the adult sessions was asked by her child with cerebral palsy whether she could also join the class.
Zion, 8, was in attendance with brothers Jeremy, Jordan and Jonathan on Wednesday. He was impressed with the afternoon’s activities, describing the opportunity to try on boxing gloves for the first time and duke it out alongside his siblings as “lots of fun”.
Pastor Lorraine plans to continue the sessions alongside the range of other programmes offered by Dwaynamics. The project has already worked with more than 300 people and runs the GB National Boxing Award – a nationwide programme to introduce the sport to young people as a way of building skill, discipline, respect and self control.
Trainer Richard Davis highlighted the positives that are coming out of Dwaynamics’ work:
“This is stimulating for kids, they work hard – not just physical training but mental discipline too – and they’re much calmer when they get home.
“We’re also bringing people together. There’s the ‘postcode’ problem with gangs in particular areas, but we’re breaking down those barriers by bringing people together under one roof.”
Pastor Lorraine also described the relationship with the police as key to Dwaynamics’ success. The project has been set up in collaboration with Lambeth Borough Commander Richard Wood and Superintendent Sean Oxley. The Metropolitan Police have also provided the space beneath the arches behind Tesco Express in Loughborough Junction where the sessions operate from.
Technical coach Richard Wilson also highlighted police’s impact:
“We have police coaches in training the kids and often don’t realise they’re police. When they do and they see that they’re good people who want to help it’s amazing to see the transformation in their attitudes.”