St Giles Joins Suffolk New College to Unite Through Basketball to Promote Anti-Knife Crime Message

St Giles Joins Suffolk New College to Unite Through Basketball to Promote Anti-Knife Crime Message

Suffolk students recently used the power of sport to promote an anti-knife crime message by organising a ‘staff v students’ basketball match.

The game took place at Suffolk New College Sports Centre in Ipswich with a representative from St Giles in attendance to help spread an anti-knife crime message before the start of the game. 

Arianna Mallett is an SOS Class Facilitator and mentor for St Giles – working one-to-one with young people who are at risk or vulnerable to gang activity, knife crime, sexual exploitation and criminal exploitation. She delivers preventative assemblies to the local community.

Arianna said:

“What the students did is fantastic. It (knife crime) has become a massive problem and it’s amazing to see young people taking responsibility like this and promoting an anti-crime message.”

In terms of advice for young people, Arianna added:

“I think it’s important to point out that the gang culture people see in the media is a glamourisation of that lifestyle for entertainment – and also carrying a knife actually makes you more at risk of being injured – it doesn’t make you safer.”

Takz, 17, from Ipswich was the coach of the student team. The Level Two ‘Body Work and Paint’ student said:

“I think it’s important for the youth to play sports to stay off the streets and find a place to distract them from the bad things that may be going on in their environment. It (playing sport) is therapy and gives people clarity and peace. My advice to other young people is to say that knife crime is not cool. Don’t feel pressured and avoid it at all costs.”

Hayley Rigby is a progress tutor at Suffolk New College. She also coaches basketball and worked with students to set up the game.

Hayley said:

“I strongly believe that sport can be a positive escape, to build a support network so that you don’t enter a lifestyle surrounded by crime.”

Alan Pease is the CEO and Principal of Suffolk New College who hasn’t played basketball for over a decade.

Alan said:

Our aim is to keep people safe both inside and outside of the classroom and teach our students to be good citizens – so – I’m really impressed by the students and staff and I was delighted to lend my support to this fantastic campaign.

Thank you to Suffolk New College for use of the photographs used.

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