Former Eastenders star Ross Kemp visited a Halifax boxing club today to speak to coaches on the importance of sport clubs keeping children away from a life of crime.
The star and award-winning journalist, most famous for playing Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap, visited Halifax to talk about the positive work Halifax Boxing Sports and Fitness Club are doing to help the town's children, while offering support to Halifax Labour candidate, Holly Lynch.
Mr Kemp said he was 'impressed' with how coaches at the club, on Old Lane, are helping increase young people's "self confidence and discipline".
He said: "It's impressive to see places like this boxing club working with children is great.
"I'm a member of a local martial arts club so I know how important sport is to create self confidence and discipline.
"These clubs can help children choose the right path away from violent crime."
Michael Rowe, Halifax boxing Sports and Fitness Club head coach, said: "We try to give young people an outlet so they can get their training and fitness up.
"It's a sense of community and allows these boys and girls a chance to enter competitions and enjoy themselves.
"Working with these children does wonders for their concentration levels in schools too.
"We've approached schools and Youth Offenders Institutions throughout West Yorkshire because it's good to speak to people about the positives of joining clubs.
"All through my younger life I had trouble with the police, but it was sport that took me away from all that.
"It's keep people out of trouble and onto the straight and narrow."
Mr Kemp said: "Boxing coaches like Michael provide these kids with someone to look up to and respect.
"It can be intimidating to join a club at first, but after a while you realise what a friendly place a sports club can be, where people can grow and learn."
Labour candidate Ms Lynch said: "This club does so much good work for the community.
"Public figures like Ross speaking about tackling youth crime is important because he can connect with people in ways politicians can't."
Ms Lynch went on to agree sports clubs in Halifax need all the help due to the work they do in reducing members of the public's stress levels, while also helping tackle mental health issues.