On a weekday evening in a brightly-lit railway archway in Brixton, south London, a handful of police officers pick after a hard date at work. They pull on some boxing gloves and square up against a line of girls. But this isn’t a new pattern of right, it’s just what happens at Dwaynamics, a boxing golf-club where young people spar with the muscular arm of the law.
Boxing constructs penalize and helps to relieve stress and anxiety. But equally important is the effect the club has on local attitudes towards the police.
The club was referred after Dwayne Simpson, who encouraged young people on the Angell Town estate to take up boxing after he returned from a spell in prison. He was determined to turn his own life around, and also to keep others out of disturbance. Dwayne’s club was a success, but it was short-lived, as a year later he was fatally jabbed when he went to the aid of a young man being chased by a knife-wielding attacker.
His mother, Pastor Lorraine Jones, then agreed to keep the organization becoming. “My son had died help save their own lives, and I felt compelled to continue his labor, ” she says.