All systems go for Drama on the Plaza

Young boxers ffrom various amateur clubs across Cape Town will showcase their skills at Philippi Plaza.

Future Champs, a pioneering non-profit organisation, is set to host its final boxing tournament of 2023, aptly billed as Drama on the Plaza, on Saturday, December 9, at the Philippi Plaza shopping centre on Govan Mbeki Road, starting at 11am.

Founded in 2011 by Jeremy Bean, Future Champs has been making waves in under-resourced areas like Philippi, using boxing as a tool for engagement and empowerment. The organisation’s unique approach involves repurposing shipping containers into boxing gyms, creating youth hubs that aims to foster a sense of belonging for the community.

A Future Champs training session in progress in one of the organisation’s repurposed shipping containers.

Bean said next Saturday’s event aims to celebrate local talent and offers spectators the opportunity to witness young boxers, both boys and girls, from various amateur clubs across Cape Town, showcasing their skills and determination.

From left, are Zola Koti, Future Champs founder Jeremy Bean, Hassan Kassim, Asavela Peter and Eza Kassim with the Phil Gunnel floating trophy he was awarded earlier this year.

“Future Champs envisions a space where boxing could be a catalyst for positive change. Our goal is to create an environment where young individuals can not only discover their potential in the ring but also develop crucial life skills that will serve them well beyond it,” says Bean.

Boxing fans can look forward to catching young talent from various amateur clubs across Cape Town, at next week’s Future Champs’ Drama on the Plaza.

As such, he said, they’ve introduced a monthly floating trophy named in honour of its sponsor Phillip Gunnel, where youngsters taking part in the Future Champs programme are recognised for their efforts, achievement and resilience on an on-going basis.

“The trophy initiative is about creating traditions and structure, we are confident that it will add social value to the club and provide recognition to these incredible children who are so resilient and positive despite their circumstances. I am committed to support the work of Future Champs and the youth under their care,” Gunnel said.

Bean said the criteria for awarding the monthly award is not limited to achievements inside the boxing ring, but also to youth that have shown effort, growth and improvement across the full range of activities and tasks.

“Future Champs gyms serve as more than just training spaces; they are vital community hubs. Coaches act as mentors and social fathers to many young individuals from single-mother households,” he said.

Coach Hassan Kassim, centre, with Zuko Bean and Zodwana Kaptein who will both be in action at next Saturday’s boxing event in Philippi.

He said that beyond boxing, the structured training programmes at Future Champs teach key soft skills necessary for personal development, equipping young people for a brighter future.

“We provide a platform for urban youth in Cape Town to channel their energy positively, fostering a sense of discipline, focus, and community pride,” he said.

In or out of the ring, Future Champs teaches key soft skills to equip young people for a brighter future.

“This open boxing tournament is not just a sporting event; it’s a testament to the resilience of the community and the impact that organisations like Future Champs can have in creating opportunities for youth,” Bean said.