Tag Archive for: Croydon

2022 Reflections With Adam Ballard and Ben Eckett

As 2022 draws to a close, we sat down with Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK founders and directors, Adam Ballard and Ben Eckett to talk reflections and lessons, and what we can expect in 2023.



Talk us through how this year has been for Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK?

Ben: This year has been a year of positivity and growth for us. We’ve seen some of our contracts extended with councils and local authorities and we’ve received new funding which has been great after having a difficult year in 2021. In 2022 we have expanded our services in schools, implemented and developed new systems, and built structure and consistency within the team and organisation.

Adam: 2022 has been the year I was able to take my role full-time, which has been a huge relief. Taking the leap has been the best thing as before I was struggling to juggle everything. Now, I’ve got more time to develop and grow the organisation. There are moments in life when you’ve got to just throw caution to the wind and thankfully this has worked out.


Training session with MMA and UFC star, Ian Garry at the Gloves Not Gunz Boxing HQ

How have the Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK teams developed over the past 12-months?

Ben: This year we decided to get Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s together which we’ve never done before so it’s been really nice to see how both organisations can help each other. We’ve also hired new people who have proven to be great additions to the teams.

Adam: We’ve continued to employ young people which is personally one of my favourite things we get to do, as we can offer them an opportunity they may not get elsewhere.


A taster boxing session at our Community Day in August | image by Bevin Sutherland

What have been some of the challenges that you’ve faced this year?

Adam: One of the challenges we’ve faced has been engaging with other community groups in Croydon and some of the politics in the work we do.

Ben: The challenges and politics can make you feel frustrated and angry, but you have to realise that it’s not worth it and we just need to focus on what we’re doing.


Where would you like Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK to be this time next year?

Ben: In 2023 we’re really focusing on expansion – expanding both the team and our services and programmes. We’ve got some really exciting things in the pipeline that we can’t wait to roll out and we’re looking forward to continuing to change young people’s lives.

Adam: Yes, we definitely want to expand across the country too, with the plan to perhaps go international as well. We’ve got big plans for the next year, which is exciting.


Training session with MMA and UFC star, Ian Garry at the Gloves Not Gunz Boxing HQ

What three words sum up 2022 for you?

Both: Progressive, Innovative and Reflective


GNG and UYUK Community Day in August | image by Bevin Sutherland



2022 has been another successful and transformative year for Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK. We’d like to thank everyone who has used our services, attended our programmes, supported us, and worked with us to inspire and create positive change. We look forward to 2023 and another year of success with our team, young people, partners, sponsors, and ambassadors.  

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK!


To find out more about Gloves Not Gunz visit the website here and keep up to date on Twitter and Instagram.

To find out more about Urban Yogi’s UK visit the website here and keep posted for updates on Twitter and Instagram.

Gloves Not Gunz Hosts Free Community Day To Celebrate 5-Year Success

Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s UK will celebrate their success over the past five years at a community day in Croydon on Friday 19th August 2022.

The Community Day which will be held from 3pm Friday 19th August 2022 at Norbury Pavilion, Croydon, will see staff, volunteers, ambassadors, stakeholders, and the local community come together to celebrate five years of creating positive futures, inspiring change, and preventing crime through boxing and yoga. The event is free to attend and will include boxing, yoga, jiu jitsu, football sessions, workshops, activities, a BBQ, and refreshments.

Gloves Not Gunz, which was set up by Directors and local dads, Adam Ballard, and Ben Eckett, has had a profound impact on young people and communities over the past five years. It has worked with over 3,000 young people across the Borough of London, delivering over 350 of its programmes. These range from mentoring, community sports sessions, school workshops, community outreach and community interventions which include setting up sport/education sessions in crime hotspots. The organisation has also developed a stellar reputation, receiving a Metropolitan Police Service Commendation and an invitation to consult parliament in the All-Parliamentary Group as a result of its positive work within the community.

Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s Director, Adam Ballard commented: “It has been incredible to see the success of both organisations over the past five years. We wanted to celebrate this milestone by giving back to the community, our staff, volunteers and partners and stakeholders. Gloves Not Gunz and Urban Yogi’s hopes to see as many people as possible attend the event which is completely free and get involved with the sessions and activities taking place. In addition, we hope the day will further raise awareness of the work we do and inspire more young people to get involved with our programmes and use the power of sport to positively impact their lives.”

The event will be held at: Norbury Pavilion, Croydon, SW16 3LX from 3pm – 7pm on Friday 19th August. All are welcome.

To find out more about Urban Yogi’s, click here.

Gloves Not Gunz Community Day