Double Jab Boxing Club
1074. Michael Harris
Michael Harris, from London, is the head coach of ‘Double Jab Boxing Club’ in Lewisham, which is encouraging hundreds of young people to stay away from gang involvement and knife crime.
Michael offers training and facilities to more than 250 people who use the gym every week, providing a safe space for young people to productively channel their energies. Dedicated to the club’s motto “jab don’t stab”, Michael has helped over 19 young people with minor criminal records to get into steady employment. Under Michael’s leadership the club was named the London Sport’s Club of the Year 2017, while Michael won the BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero of the Year 2017.
Michael was presented with his award by actor Idris Elba at a talk in Downing Street (pictured below).
In a personal letter to Michael, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your inspiring work as head coach of the ‘Double Jab Boxing Club’ is having a transformational impact on young people in your local community, encouraging them away from gang involvement and crime. You should feel very proud of providing a safe space for vulnerable young people to achieve their sporting potential and to find employment.”
“I feel extremely grateful that my work in the community has been noticed on this level and it is recognition like this that helps spur me on to make a change. I also want to use this opportunity not only to thank all my young fighters for their dedication to themselves but also to reach out to all those other youths in London that feel the overwhelming pressures of the gang and knife crime that plague our streets of London and let them know that there is a place in my boxing club for you.”