15 South Brisbane At-Risk Youth Graduate from QPS Boxing Program with Jeff Horn

QPS Boxing Program
Photo Credit: QPS South Brisbane

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) held the graduation of 15 at-risk young people from its QPS boxing program with mentor, boxing champ Jeff Horn, on 22 Dec 2020 at the Police-Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) Inala.

Sergeant Jim Bellos, the South Brisbane District Bail Co-ordinator, advocated for this early intervention program, under the Community Based Crime Action Committees, to help vulnerable and disengaged young people develop their confidence, self-belief, health and fitness, and respect. 

The highlight of the graduation was two exhibition fights with Horn against Senior Sergeant Virginia ‘Ferocious’ McLean, a First Nations elder from New South Wales, and Senior Constable Tom ‘Knuckles’ Archer, a Filipino-Australian war veteran.

Photo Credit: QPS South Brisbane

Ferocious also gave an inspiring talk to the graduates about her experiences as a recovering alcoholic who became an accomplished policewoman in the Northern Territory Police Force. She said boxing helped her work hard on her physical and mental transformation.

“Even though I may be old, even though I might have put on a few kilos, today I have proven that if you train hard you can achieve anything,” Ferocious said. 

Knuckles, on the other hand, discussed his recovery from depression and post traumatic stress disorder after his deployment in Afghanistan with a lot of help from the mental health organisation Maladjusted Monkeys.

On the ring, Knuckles joked that he really wanted to avenge Filipino boxer Manny Pacquio, whom Horn beat in 2017.

The ringside judges ruled both exhibition matches as a draw. 

“It’s all in good fun and the kids and their families were certainly entertained,” Horn said. 

The graduation was witnessed by Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd, District Officer South Brisbane District Chief Superintendent Bill Graham and Detective Superintendent Denzil Clarke. 

Meanwhile, PCYC Inala offers boxing sessions every Monday through Friday. Boxing helps kids develop discipline, learn teamwork, and have fun. 

Follow PCYCY Inala on Facebook for its various activities aimed at youth development.