A street-fighting program to keep at-risk Indigenous youth out of trouble in north Queensland may soon be trialled in Syrian refugee camps.
The Streets Movement was started in Cairns by Jesse Martin, who takes a pop-up gym around the region each week.
In the past year, he has helped 10,000 kids.
They learn boxing techniques and are trained to compete in monitored fights.
“Some kids need it because they haven’t got a safe home to go to, others because it’s something to do in the afternoon,” he said.
“We call it the guerrilla gym initiative and basically it’s about us getting back out on the streets.
“And just like the guerrilla fighter can move anywhere in the community, same way, we can get up in the community and give back.”
The program is going so well, Mr Martin said he was in talks with international aid agencies to roll out the program across the Middle East.
“We’ve got a trip later on in the year over the Jordan … [to] see what we can learn and what we can offer,” he said.
“Especially with the conflict in Syria, hopefully we’ll be able to able to try and set this up in refugee camps.”
Gym trainer Michael Saramin said the program’s popularity hinged on the physical activity.
“I think boxing is just a character building thing,” he said.
“It just helps you build that confidence.
“It helps you build that determination and motivation to do something with yourself.”