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PHOTO: English Youth Boxing Club in Somerville for Cultural Exchange

The Right Stuff Boxing Club, from Staffordshire, has a similar mission to the Somerville Boxing Club.

If you've encountered a group of British teenage boxers recently, there's a reason.

Several members of the Right Stuff Boxing Club, from Staffordshire, England, are in Somerville on a 10-day cultural exchange with the Somerville Boxing Club.

Like the Somerville Boxing Club, which reopened last year at the Edgerly School in East Somerville, Right Stuff Boxing Club strives to improve the lives of young people through boxing.

The Somerville Board of Aldermen honored the group Thursday evening, and Andy Whitehall, a group leader, said the trip to Somerville is "an opportunity of a lifetime" for many of the kids in his program.

"Many of my young people here have never been outside their own town, [not to mention] outside their own country," he said.

Among the young people visiting Somerville is Sophie Stewart, junior female 2012 flyweight champion of the Amateur Boxing Association of England.

In addition to boxing, the young pugilists from Staffordshire are also trained to be leaders in their community, performing outreach work on matters related to mental health and substance abuse, among other things, Whitehall said.

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