Frank Field MP
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Mike Tyson should not visit Wirral

5
Sep
Boxing was one of the big success stories of the Olympics. I watched with admiration as Luke Campbell, Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams put in inspirational performances to win their gold medals.
 
Merseyside had a starring role with Natasha Jonas reaching the quarterfinals of the women’s lightweight category, only to be beaten by the eventual gold medallist.
 
Each of them proved that it is possible, with determination and hard work, to reach for the stars – and get there.
 
Boxing can be a lifeline for young people who find themselves disengaged and on the wrong track. Despite it being combative sport, its success in encouraging people away from crime and violence is extraordinary.
 
Tom Stalker, a member of the Olympic team, talks openly about boxing’s role in ‘saving’ him.
 
I wrote earlier this year about my wish for the Olympics to fully deliver on its promise to ‘inspire a generation’. I truly hope Birkenhead’s boxing clubs will now be full to bursting with new recruits, and I applaud those in Birkenhead who give up their time to support young people with their training.
 
There is however – as with everything – a fine line. This week I learned that Mike Tyson is due to visit Birkenhead to give master-classes to young people. Mr Tyson, I believe, is the worst possible role model. Here is an individual who in no way displays boxing’s values – discipline, self-esteem and respect – outside of the ring.
 
We should be inviting our Olympic heroes to Birkenhead instead.
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