Youth in our communities face daunting challenges: crime, violence, and drugs are all too prevalent amongst young people. The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project offers an athletic and cultural exchange program that bridges the gaps between cultures and provides a unique opportunity for children and teenagers, many of whom have never left their own neighborhoods, to develop self-respect and respect for others, expand their horizons, experience international athletic competition and learn about the lives of their peers in other cultures. Participants in the exchange program travel to the host country for a week, enjoy cultural and educational tours with local youth and train at local gyms. The week culminates in The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Classic, an amateur boxing competition and dinner. This is an exciting and confidence-building experience for the young athletes and we are very grateful for the generous donations that make it happen.
Youth boxing clubs offer a tremendous value to the public at large and serve their communities well by providing an alternative to the streets and teaching young men and women important life lessons about discipline, dedication and the value of hard work. In supporting these groups, The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project aims to provide positive experiences, opportunities, and hope to the young people in our inner cities and to benefit the public by supporting alternatives to becoming involved in crime and mischief, which is unfortunately a common route for many of these kids.
The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project offers ongoing support to youth athletic organizations in the form of an equipment donation program. Groups that offer amateur athletics and/or after-school programs for at-risk youth submit a “wish list” application of needed equipment, which, if approved by BBBP, is then purchased and delivered to them. The Project also provides support for kids who do not have the financial means to attend athletic camps and clinics in the summer recess. Our hope is that the young adults who participate in our program, and who benefit from the donations we make to local organizations, become more engaged, more open-minded and more informed members of our communities. With such objectives and outcomes in mind, we look forward to helping to create a positive impact on the future of our communities.
The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project is committed to improving the lives of teenagers and young adults. Our organization was formed out of a deep concern about the rising suicide rate amongst Belfast youth (see: Our History) and as we grow, we are making an increasing effort to support organizations that provide mental health services to our target population, both in the United States and in Northern Ireland.
In October 2017, BBBP President Emmanuel Quinn and VP Sean Brebbia delivered a donation to the American Association of Suicidology's U OK? Program. BBBP is proud to support this wonderful endeavor, which is designed to engage youth in preventing suicide amongst their peers. BBBP also donated to Lighthouse, a Belfast-based charity that works extensively for the community in raising awareness and delivering support to people who have been affected by suicide or bereavement.
Both donations will be used specifically for programs that target teenagers and young adults at risk of suicide, depression or self-harming.