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GALLERY: Frank Bruno visits boxing academy at Orpington school

PUBLISHED: 11:26 14 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:26 14 March 2016

Frank Bruno visits his boxing academy in Orpington. Photos: Michael Hulf

Frank Bruno visits his boxing academy in Orpington. Photos: Michael Hulf

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The visit was part of a drive to get more young people involved in sport

Boxing legend Frank Bruno put Orpington youngsters through their paces last week when he held a session at his Priory School academy.

The academy was established seven years ago at the school to provide specific learning pathways for students who want to study sport-related subjects to higher level education, or work in the leisure industry.

Bruno was helping promote regular boxing sessions hosted by the Crystal Palace FC Foundation in partnership with Boxing 4 Schools, as part of a programme to provide opportunities for young people to take part in more physical activity.

The former WBC heavyweight champion said: “Boxing changed my life completely, I started when I was eight and it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

“The Crystal Palace Foundation’s work is fantastic and I think all football clubs should be involved in getting young people into sport.

“Wayne Llewelyn (co-founder of the academy) is a mentor, a doctor, a teacher and a father to all those kids.”

The 54-year-old was joined in the ring by Palace midfielder Hiram Boateng, who made his Premier League debut for the Eagles this season, and under-21 player Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong.

Boateng said: “When people came and gave talks in my school it would really inspire me – it makes you want to get involved in sport.

“It’s great to come along to these events and see what we are putting on for the kids. It can have a powerful impact in helping more young people get into sport.”

Berkeley-Agyepong, who has been at Palace since the age of eight and whose parents were both Olympians, was impressed with the skill of the students: “I’m a professional sportsman meant to be here to help these kids, but in that ring they were the ones helping me out.”

The foundation has been running programmes since last September and, as well as boxing, they provide basketball, golf, and table tennis sessions.

More than 230 young people have taken part in the first six months of the programme.

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