Empire Fighting Chance picks up two awards
Published on: 01 Dec 2017
A DOWNEND man credited with turning around the lives of thousands of young people has picked up two awards.
Martin Bisp, 47, set up the boxing charity Empire Fighting Chance with Jamie Sanigar in 2013 after witnessing a drug deal outside the Empire Boxing Club in St Paul's.
Since then the pair have made it their mission to identify youngsters on the verge of serious trouble, take them under their wing and offer stability and structure through coaching, education and personal support.
Martin collected the first award for his work with Sported, a national charity which uses sport as a tool for social change.
He won the South West Mentor of the Year award in Sported's annual Vanessa Brown Awards, held at The House of Sport near London Bridge.
The evening was hosted by the Sported founder Sir Keith Mills GBE and attended by rustees including Alan Pascoe, a former Olympic silver medallist.
Martin has been mentoring for Sported for around four years and in the last 12 months supported an organisation in Northern Ireland, a yoga club in Bath as well as local clubs.
"The support I have provided ranged from helping them write funding bids to creating business plans with diverse income strategies," Martin said.
"Vanessa Brown was a Sported colleague who unfortunately died in 2014. As she was such a beloved member of the team they created some awards in her name so it was real honour to win."
Martin's charity picked up a further award when Empire Fighting Chance won Charity of the Year at the Bristol Life Awards, hosted by comedian Mark Watson.
"The judges gave the award to us as they said we were 'a very exciting new charity making a difference to those lives most in need," Martin said.