Video: Edinburgh Uni honorary degree for boxing pioneer

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A boxing academy pioneer who has devoted himself to helping some of Brazil’s most disadvantaged young people has been given an honourary degree by the University of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh graduate Luke Dowdney, who founded the Fight For Peace charity in Rio de

Picture: Getty

Picture: Getty

Janerio in 2000, received an honorary degree at a ceremony in the McEwan Hall today.

The organisation uses boxing and mixed martial arts as a way to engage with children, many of whom live in the city’s sprawling housing schemes, the favelas.

The initiative grew out of research that Mr Dowdney conducted for his Masters degree in

social anthropology at Edinburgh. His studies focused on the violence suffered by street

children in Brazil, many of whom find themselves drawn into a violent world of drug gangs.

Fight For Peace – which has since set up a second base in London – has mentored thousands

of young people towards an education.

Mr Dowdney, who will receive a Doctor honoris causa, was captain of the University boxing

team and a British Universities Light-Middleweight champion. He is also the author of

Children of the Drug Trade: a case study of children in organised armed violence.

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