GOBB Project Produces Talented Youngsrters

THE Ely Standard was well and truly GOBB-smacked when we visited Littleport Leisure Centre on Tuesday. When we went to see a group of Witchford teenagers in March, little did we realise that four months later, they would have become talented film stars a

THE Ely Standard was well and truly GOBB-smacked when we visited Littleport Leisure Centre on Tuesday.

When we went to see a group of Witchford teenagers in March, little did we realise that four months later, they would have become talented film stars and boxers, thanks to a unique project which fuses art and sport.

Group of Boys Boxing (GOBB) was set up by youth workers to help teenage boys deal with problems at home or at school, and to give them a sense of purpose, discipline and achievement. Various organisations put up funding, including East Cambridgeshire District Council, ADeC and the National Lottery.

Since March, the boys have had weekly training with an accredited boxing trainer, and have been showcasing their skills through video diaries ever since.


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The result is a 20-minute short film called Gobbsmacked, which premiered on Tuesday. It shows not only how far the boys' technical skills have come on since March, but their ability to throw a comedy punch - all neatly spliced together by professional filmmaker Colin Stephens.

"I helped get this project up and running," 16-year-old Rob Arnold proudly told the Ely Standard. "Sometimes you can't be bothered to turn up, but you've got to, haven't you, because I want to be a boxer like my brother."

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Rob is soon to be the proud owner of a Bronze Arts Award, in recognition of his involvement in the film-making project.

Louise Taylor from ADeC emphasised the scale of the young people's achievement. "For some, it might be the only qualification they get," she told the Ely Standard, "and we hope that it will open doors for them to achieve other things."

"The boys have got a lot of energy - they just need a focus," she added.

GOBB has given them that focus. Although the film project is over, the boxing continues.

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