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Boxing gala proves to be a knockout

TRIO: Legendary boxer Collins with hosts Lisa Marie Carr and Wham (right)

A STANDING ovation was given to a 15-year-old student who was presented with a ‘Never Give Up’ monetary award at the recent Living Legend Legacy Boxing Gala.

Held at Alexandra Palace, north Londoner Adrienn Crawford was awarded with £1000 by the Legacy Foundation to assist her in her studies, allowing her to follow her dreams.

Planning to venture into business and politics, Adrienn was granted the cheque due to the loss of her father, Adrian Crawford who was murdered in 2002.


STANDING OVATION: Young Crawford

Feeling proud of her daughter mother, Michelle Dunn, told the Voice of Sport: “I am very grateful to have my daughter acknowledged at such an inspiring event. Adrienn has never allowed the death of her beloved father to hold her back in life and has used his death to keep motivated.

“She is a bright and ambitious young lady with a healthy future to look forward to. I am very proud of her and I know her father is likewise, watching down from heaven.

“I would also like to thank the Legacy Foundation for supporting Adrienn especially emotionally and with her education. The foundation has given my daughter positive role models.”

Another recipient of the ‘Never Give Up’ award was Mervin Herbert who has turned his life around to become a motivational speaker. Helping young vulnerable people, especially men moving away from a life of violence, the former criminal was presented with a monetary prize to assist his dream of making a difference to the next generation.

“It’s all about helping people to transcend to somewhere they need to be rather than somewhere they don’t want to be,” Herbert said. “It’s about giving young people opportunities and the platform to grow and to become positive leaders instead of negative criminals. Everyone has an excuse as to why they get into crime, but I try to make young people understand it’s a choice. The best thing they can do is get an education.”

LEGACY

The inspirational ceremony also included three live boxing matches for the guests to enjoy and appreciate the art and skill of boxing.

Supported by Frank Warren Promotions, the Living Legend Boxing Gala was launched by the Legacy Foundation to highlight the often undervalued and unrecognised contribution of individuals and organisations, committed to leaving a legacy in the UK.

The foundation’s aim is to honour those who have contributed to the sport of boxing past, present and future; while celebrating individuals and organisations who have transformed the lives of vulnerable young people.

The night also saluted and honoured nine community icons for their outstanding work by helping young people to say ‘no’, to a life of crime by shifting their mindsets.

COMMUNITY

Awards were given to former European and British supermiddleweight boxing champion James Cook MBE, the legendary super-middleweight fighter Steve Collins, Dr Mark Prince - founder/director The Kiyan Prince Foundation - and former IBF & WBO intercontinental champion, multi award-winning actor Rudolph Walker OBE, Archbishop Costakis C Evangelou, boxing trainer and Stamina For Sale founder, Tunde Ajayi, community father Philip Morris, Blacksox founder Viv Ahmun and Clayre Bennett, assistant coach/secretary of Martial Way Training.


ON THE MIC: Dr Prince addresses the Alexandra Palace audience

Expressing gratitude for his award, respected actor Walker confessed: “It is a wonderful and a humbling experience to receive an award, especially in a society where there is little or no recognition of the fantastic contribution we have made over the years to make here a better place for all.”

Awarded for his work with the youth, Walker added: “It was a great and inspiring night. Everyone was in good spirits and the food was fantastic.

“I also heard some amazing, moving stories. Well done to the organisers. I am looking forward to next year!”

Echoing these sentiments, Collins said: “It was an honour to be a part of the Living Legends Boxing Gala. The night had a very positive vibe and away from the celebration it is great that someone is highlighting and tackling the problem of knife crime, which I feel is being brushed under the carpet for far too long.”

Pleased with the success of their launch event, and excited about next year, one of the organisers from the Legacy Foundation, Karen Allen, said: “It was my privilege to be part of this prestigious and ground breaking experience. As one of the main sponsors and a mother of four boys it was exciting to see people of all different backgrounds within the local community coming together to unite against the evil that is spreading among young people.


AWARD: Martial artist Bennett

HORRIFIED

“It’s important that we continue to celebrate those who are making a difference and give our children positive role models.

“On the night of the event I was horrified to learn that a young man had been murdered not far from the venue whilst the event was taking place.

“It is a sad reality check. There are many individuals and organisations doing an outstanding job within the community to prevent young people from losing their lives prematurely there is clearly still much work still to do.”

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