Giving teens a chance to develop themselves

Costas Evangelou is the founder of an Edmonton boxing club with a social purpose

Costas Evangelou (second from left) in the ring with some of his young boxers and coaches
Costas Evangelou (second from left) in the ring with some of his young boxers and coaches

The founder of an Edmonton boxing club has made it his mission to help youngsters in the borough avoid a life of gangs and crime.

Costas Evangelou is the founder and head coach of Edmonton Eagles Boxing Club, first formed in 2004 and based at Montagu Recreation Ground. The club offers low-cost training sessions as well as free after-school ‘open sessions’ where youngsters can try their hand at boxing for the first time.

Costas, who was made an MBE in 2019 for his services to young people, told the Dispatch: “We want to give youngsters an outlet and help them develop a positive attitude, to get them away from gang culture, build their confidence and improve themselves.

“We have got a lot of kids here who have fallen out of school and we have seen the positive impact that boxing has had on them.”

A big part of the club is offering opportunities for disadvantaged teenagers living locally, in an area of high social deprivation.

“Edmonton is one of the most deprived areas of the whole country. We subsidise sessions for those aged 19 and under, and after school from 4pm to 5pm they are free. We don’t turn anyone away – if they are in financial difficulties we still let them in.”

Among many success stories at the club is Beni Mondua, who has been a national junior cruiserweight champion and has recently joined the Team GB Olympic team. Beni continues to train with Edmonton Eagles today.

“We’ve had a number of young people from different backgrounds who have become champions,” says Costas. “But we welcome anyone here who just wants to develop themselves.”

For more information about Edmonton Eagles Boxing Club:

Enfield Community Heroes

This article is the latest in our ‘Enfield Community Heroes’ series, sponsored by Edmonton Green Shopping Centre. Dispatch readers are welcome to nominate their own local hero – someone who has gone above and beyond to help support the local community. Simply email your nomination to [email protected].