Round House is an award winning Taekwondo and boxing outreach project, which combines education and mentoring support to develop youth leadership and help people realise their value and potential in disadvantaged communities. The project uses the Olympic sports Taekwondo and boxing as an engagement tool to work with so-called hard-to-reach young people. Round House also provides employment support with high-level Taekwondo and boxing coaching to raise the aspirations of young people. Round House aims to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour, gangs and youth violence. It also brings diverse groups of young people together in a positive environment to help improve community cohesion and health and well-being.
The Round House hub is based at Dimensions Leisure Centre with an additional 10 Satellite Clubs across schools, colleges and community venues in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
Members of the Round House staff team actively compete themselves leading by example and inspiring young people. Our Taekwondo instructors/coaches and boxing coaches have won a number of national and international competitions. Our staff have completed safeguarding, child protection and first aid training and hold valid enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. In addition, the Round House staff team all have Level 2 qualifications in Doorstep Sport Coaching combined with Level 2 Principles and Preparation for Coaching Sport and Level 2 Award in Multi-Skill Development. Our senior staff all hold undergraduate degrees in Sports Development and Coaching and also Sport and Exercise Sciences.
Round House helps young people in disadvantaged communities realise their value and potential as members of society through Taekwondo and boxing combined with education and mentoring. Everybody matters here.
Round House ABC is an award winning Boxing Club with community outreach in hotspot areas for anti-social behaviour, gangs and youth violence. We work in partnership with Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (SASSOT), community organisations and a number of schools and colleges to deliver Satellite Boxing Clubs and enrichment activities.
Round House is working with England Boxing the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing to become an England Boxing affiliated club.
Round House TKD is an official British Taekwondo Club registered with the national governing body for Olympic-style Taekwondo. British Taekwondo is responsible for all aspects of the Martial Art of Taekwondo including selecting Great Britain's National Teams to compete at the European and World Championships, and, of course, the Olympic Games.
We have a team of British Taekwondo registered instructors ranging in grade from 1st Dan to 4th Dan.
So what is in a name? Quite a lot actually. The dictionary definition of a roundhouse kick is: 'a kick in which the attacker swings his or her leg around in a semi-circular motion, striking with the front of the leg or foot.' This kind of kick is well-known in martial arts circles, but, in addition, thanks to the popularisation of martial arts films, is also well known on the streets. My martial art and Olympic sport of Taekwondo is well known for its dynamic and powerful fast kicks.
That's why, when thinking of a name for our exciting initiative, the phrase came to mind. Other mixed martial arts programmes use the phrase 'Rough House' or 'Black House' Team, so 'house' has become synonymous with this kind of activity. It’s also a phrase with lots of other meanings – 'house' is a place where people feel safe – another benefit of our programme, whilst 'round' has positive allusions of cohesion and a circle of support. So, it couldn't have been a better name for our programme – Round House.
It"s an interesting paradox that those who are experienced martial arts practitioners are less likely to be involved in fights. Not only do practitioners have the confidence to deal with an attack, they often exude confidence, meaning that a potential attacker would be less likely to engage them in a fight.
In fact, it’s not widely known, but martial arts instructors will always encourage their students to find a way to escape from conflict first and foremost, meaning that a fight will be the last available option when all others have been exhausted. That"s why, we’re confident that the benefits of Round House will help to tackle violence on the streets. If you"d like to be involved in a class, watch this space for more information.
It"s interesting that the word "gang" hasn’t always been a negative word. The dictionary definition includes "a group of persons working together" and "a group of people with compatible tastes or mutual interests who gather for social reasons." Only recently has the definition also included "a group of persons associated for some criminal or other anti-social purpose." Within the Round House project, we’re reclaiming the word "gang", and engaging with local young people to "work together" and celebrate "compatible tastes" for sport and positive activities, including gaining qualifications, learning new skills and even creating social enterprises. As rapper Snoop Dogg was famously quoted; "It’s so easy for a kid to join a gang, to do drugs… we should make it that easy to be involved in football and academics." That"s our plan at Round House. To get involved in a gang that’ll help you to go places, check our website and find out where your nearest Round House session is.
A motivating factor for young people joining gangs is "protection" from other gangs. Similarly, one of the reasons that young people carry knives is "protection", however, the danger in this logic is that the knife is often used on the person carrying the knife so it actually has the opposite effect. That"s why we"re hoping to give young people an alternative way to protect themselves without exposing themselves to risk. Round House will provide young people with the confidence to "protect" themselves through martial arts and personal development — helping them to rely less on weapons and more on inner strength.
At a Downing Street event, Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said: "This is part of our drive to create a generation of "work ready", well-rounded young people with raised aspirations about their future." So how do you create a generation of "well-rounded young people"? Well, we"re doing our bit at Round House to ensure that young people in Stoke-on-Trent are as equipped as they can be to live healthy, happy and successful lives regardless of their background. I firmly believe that to encourage young people to change their lives, you need a rounded approach. The Round House project is designed to influence every area of a young person"s life. They get to learn a skill to give them confidence, gain a qualification which will increase their employability, gain access to a mentor to help them tackle any challenges in their lifestyle, and learn a sport that will help them to be fit and healthy. So, we feel that we"re on track to support a generation of well-rounded young people through our aptly named Round House.
"Anti-Bullying Week" comes only once a year, but anti-bullying is something we focus on year-round. We"ve been playing our part in helping to stamp out this widespread problem through our Round House project. As you would expect from a project called "Round House", we"ve been taking a 360-degree approach to tackling the issue. We"ve been teaching the young people who join us every weekend at our Taekwondo and Boxing classes some "bully-proof" strategies, and also working with perpetrators of youth violence too, to show young people how to channel their aggression in a productive way, teaching them respect, discipline and hard work. By tackling the issue from every angle, we"re hoping to break the vicious circle of bullying and turn our young people into rounded individuals with enough courage to stand up for themselves without resorting to violence. Now that"s what we call a rounded approach!
The word "gang" has several definitions in the dictionary. A negative definition reads; "a group of youngsters or adolescents who associate closely, often exclusively, for social reasons, especially such a group engaging in delinquent behaviour." However, a more positive definition reads; "a group of people with compatible tastes or mutual interests who gather together for social reasons." We want to reclaim the word "gang". Young people tend to join gangs to benefit from a sense of belonging, from being protected and from a shared goal and aims.
At Round House, we provide our young people with the same benefits — we teach them the art of protection, we help them to work towards positive goals and we share a sense of community and belonging. In fact, being part of Round House can even give young people the positive structure they need to help them to break out of a gang. If you know a young person who could benefit from being in a good gang, then send them along to our Taekwondo and Boxing classes and we can show them the benefits.
“Round House have been delivering a Boxing Club at The Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent, for almost 2 years. I do feel that our students are privileged to have such a respectful and responsible coach. The coach is an excellent role model for our students and is very articulate and able to communicate very well with his peers and students. He is an open and honest person with a pleasant, friendly attitude; he is a delight to talk to and is always courteous and well mannered. The club itself has demonstrated a high standard of skills and it is a key member of the enrichment programme as it encourages all students to be their best, whilst maintaining the independence of the students. The coach takes responsibility for planning and organising activities and competitions and always works with determination, encourages others around him and exhibits an excellent attitude towards educating others. The students are making excellent progress as a result of the quality coaching they receive. The contributions and enthusiasm of the 'Round House Boxing Club' have been most welcomed by staff and students. Thank you.”
Mark RogersHead of FacultyThe Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent
“Round House have provided some fantastic sessions for the youngsters who I work with across the city, they cater to young people of all levels of ability and enable all the participants to have fun whilst learning a skill. The range of different exercises and routines delivered by the coaches is also impressive and ensures that our young people stay engaged throughout their sessions.”
Marvin MolloyCommunity Development ManagerMy Community Matters
“I have been going to Round House for 4 years. The Round House project was launched by Engage Communities, it is brilliant for letting off steam and has helped me with my self-esteem, and having a general good time. The reason I have been coming to Round House was mainly to keep fit until I found a strong interest in Taekwondo. Since then I have been competing in Taekwondo tournaments, and enjoy coming to Round House and taking part in the sport. It helps me with my confidence and academic studies. You also learn the meaning of the sport taking place and build respect for each other. It is brilliant to keep young teenagers of the streets, and helping them in the future. Well done to all the coaches and staff for producing a brilliant club.”
Muhammad Hashim AdilYear 10 StudentThe JCB Academy Uttoxeter
“I value the work of Round House and its ability to connect with all types of people regardless of backgrounds. Round House is a major contributor and advocate of boxing across Stoke and Staffordshire. We as the NGB are working closely with them to ensure that their boxing provision goes from strength to strength. Currently, Round House is delivering the sport of boxing in many untapped areas, particularly with the wonderful work they are doing as part of the national Satellite club initiative. We will continue to work with Round House to help develop their boxing specific offer and help widen their reach into different communities utilising the sport of boxing.”
Daniel AllenClub Support OfficerEngland Boxing West Midlands
“I have been working with Round House Boxing Club for 2 years implementing the Sport England's Satellite Club intervention across the county. The club and its coaches have been doing some fantastic work in the local schools and colleges. Round House Boxing Club have been a key partner in supporting the successful integration of young people from different cultural backgrounds into the local communities. With a focus on encouraging young people from different social and cultural backgrounds to take responsibility and develop their leadership skills the Round House Boxing Club is an excellent example of how sport can help change young people's lives for the better.”
Chloe GrovesSatellite Club Links OfficerSport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
“My name is Nathan Schultz I am a 15 year old boy, ever since I have started Round House I have stopped hanging around on the streets, whereas before I was encouraged and peer pressured into drinking, smoking and being violent towards the public. Going to Round House has made me more disciplined, my family have told me this, and they have seen an improvement in my behaviour. Also I enjoy spending time with Round House so I have decided to go there for my work experience and I really enjoy it, I am helping other people like myself that come to Round House to stay out of trouble by taking part in sports activity.”
Nathan SchultzYear 10 StudentThe Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent