Network Rail has teamed up with a school in Hertfordshire to teach pupils about railway safety.

The partnership at the John Warner school in Hoddesdon will combine sport, recreation and fitness with information about the importance of staying safe and never taking chances around the railway. The school was chosen as Hertfordshire is prone to railway trespass with 302 incidents recorded in 2018.

Launching the partnership this morning (17 January), pupils took part in non-contact boxing workshops led by Great Britain Amateur Boxing club that included elements of rail safety.

The sessions were led by GB and England boxing coach Quinton “Q” Shillingford. Each young person who takes part will be given a workbook which includes fitness information as well as vital safety messages which will help them stay safe on the railway.

Commenting on the project, Network Rail’s Community Safety Manager Kathleen O’Malley said: “This is an exciting initiative which will help teach young people how to stay safe around the railway, while improving their health, fitness and discipline through amateur boxing.

“The railway is at the heart of every community, it carries millions of passengers every year and impacts on hundreds of thousands of people, whether through stations, level crossings or those living alongside it. Working with Great Britain Amateur Boxing Association means we will be able to raise awareness of railway safety to young people across Hertfordshire.”

Quinton “Q” Shillingford, GB and England boxing coach said: “GB Boxing & England Boxing is proud to be able to deliver this unique offer of the GB National (Non-Contact) Boxing Awards and railway safety awareness to young people.

“Our sport is built around the safety and welfare of all participants so it is therefore appropriate that our joint message with Network Rail is to stay safe around stations and tracks.

“GB Boxing & England Boxing is confident, with Network Rail’s assistance, that through participating in sport we can help young people stay safe around the railway.”

Tara Haddock, Assistant Headteacher at the John Warner school, said: “We are pleased to support this exciting partnership to help our pupils stay safe on the railway, while improving their health and fitness. The railway is full of both obvious and hidden dangers, so by offering pupils an engaging and fun way to learn about safety on the railway, we hope they will be able to keep themselves and their friends safe.”

GB Boxing works in London, the home counties and across the country with children and young people from a range of backgrounds.