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Bruno is back in the ring to spar with teen enthusiasts

PUBLISHED: 15:39 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:59 12 August 2010

22.04.08
Orpington
The Priory school, Tintagel Rd, Orpington.
Launch of the Frank Bruno boxing academy
Picture: Jamie Gray
Mobile:07834 965462
Email: jamie@jamiegray.com

22.04.08 Orpington The Priory school, Tintagel Rd, Orpington. Launch of the Frank Bruno boxing academy Picture: Jamie Gray Mobile:07834 965462 Email: jamie@jamiegray.com

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BOXING champ Frank Bruno stepped in to the ring with youngsters at a new boxing academy launched in a school on Tuesday. The heavyweight joined students and staff at the Priory School, Tintagel Road, Orpington, to mark the opening of the Frank Bruno Boxi

BOXING champ Frank Bruno stepped in to the ring with youngsters at a new boxing academy launched in a school on Tuesday.

The heavyweight joined students and staff at the Priory School, Tintagel Road, Orpington, to mark the opening of the Frank Bruno Boxing Academy, the first of its kind.

The project, for over 16-year-old's, will see students already at a competent level in the sport study simultaneously giving them the chance to gain an academic qualification.

Bruno, who arrived at the school in a maroon Bentley, said: "It's great to be here today and see the kids getting in to it. Boxing is a fantastic sport that gives kids discipline and respect.

"It gets them off the street and out of trouble. If you're in to drink and drugs, you can't step in to the ring."

Dismissing claims by groups like Headway, a brain injury organisation which claims boxing causes chronic brain damage, Bruno said: "There's risk in everything you do in life. If you thought like that then you'd never step out your bed."

He said his own son, also named Frank, enjoys the sport and he wouldn't discourage his from doing it.

He said: "As long as your kids aren't a paedophile or bank robber, you should let them do what they like."

Britain's most loved boxer, who won 40 out of 45 contests before hanging up his gloves in 1995 said he is now enjoying his retirement. "I'm just ducking and diving, doing a bit of vacuuming and changing the bedspreads. It's nice."

Pupil Aimee Baines, 16, climbed in to the ring and sparred with the champ. She said: "I found out yesterday I would be meeting him. I was really pleased.

"It was brilliant to get the chance to get some constructive criticism from him. He's really nice, I had a lot of fun."

Headteacher Nick Ware, said he was excited to have Bruno at the opening. He said: "It's been a great day and it's brilliant to have Frank here to support it. We are trying to personalise learning here and as a dedicated sports college there was demand for boxing as a sport.

"It gives children a chance to develop their skills while getting an education at the same time."

"There are risks with any sport, football, rugby, whatever. Boxing is not violent, it's controlled aggression."

The first intake of students will be in September and it's hoped with the onset of the 2012, the academy may nurture a new generation of champions.

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