MAPS Karate Club in Swinton were visited by Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner on Monday, 21 May after receiving grant funding of £2,271 to hire the local Civic Hall in Swinton, Rotherham.

The funding came from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Grant Scheme and will offer the young people the opportunity to get involved in something that is fun and healthy on a weekly basis.

Local residents have raised some concerns about young people hanging around the centre of Swinton and the Karate Club has been set up here to provide something positive for them.

On a visit to the regular weekly group Dr Alan Billings said: “It was good to see how engaged the young people were with the activities and how much they enjoyed it.

“Karate teaches them discipline and self control through martial arts training.  They can also progress over time and become mentors and tutors themselves.

The Commissioner was joined by Councillors Stuart Sansome and Ken Wyatt, who are both aware of the project and have provided positive feedback on how it is helping antisocial behaviour in the area.

Whilst at the meeting Dr Billings spoke with the local Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), who again provided very positive feedback on how the karate club was helping with the issue of antisocial behaviour and encouraging engagement with young people.

Project Manager and Chief Instructor Stephen Boulton said: “MAPS Karate Club thanks the South Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner for his valuable support in our Project ‘New Kidz on the Block’  aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour on the Precinct Shopping Centre at Swinton;

“This funding has given us an opportunity to engage with young people frequenting that area and offering them an alternative way to spending their free time.”

The MAPS Karate Club runs on a Monday evening in the Civic Centre in Swinton from 5.15pm.