The new Amateur Boxing Club at based at Patchway Community College (PCC) in Hempton Lane was officially opened today at a grand launch event attended by boxing VIPs and civic dignitaries.
The club has been fully recognised by the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) of England, a status achieved by fewer than five school-based clubs in the country.
The club’s prestigious ABA status was achieved following hard work and training from members of staff at the college, especially Lloyd Lewis and Nige Burr, who have fully qualified as ABA coaches.
Mark Abberley, CEO of the ABA, was guest of honour at today’s event and he praised everybody behind the club – including the school governors, teachers and parents – for all the hard work put into the venture over the past year.
“As a sport, we are changing young people’s lives for the better. This is a very good example of what we should be doing in the Olympic year of 2012.”
“It is what Lord Coe meant when he promised, in Singapore in 2005, to ‘reach all young people around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of sport.'”
The club has been made possible through grants from several bodies, including £5,001 from Sport England, £870 from Revive Charity of Filton and further amounts from Patchway Town Council, Patchway Community Sports Association and Active South Gloucestershire.
Patchway Community College can now boast the unique school facility in the area of a fully equipped and functional boxing gym, which is used for supervised recreational use at lunch times and after school, and also for a GCSE equivalent qualification for a selection of students.
Coach Nige Burr said:
“With Britain about to host the Olympics in 2012, amateur boxing is one of the primary sports for Great Britain to compete in, and throughout 2012 PCCABC will be involved with developing the national sport at a local level.”
The club will be training both junior and senior boxers to enter local and national ABA competitions, and is also planning for a further increase in membership by people using the facility for recreational fitness as well as competitive training. This includes public sessions for everyone of any ability or level, one of which is exclusively for ladies fitness:
- Fun boxing for young people aged 7 to 15 years takes place on Wednesdays from 5pm to 6pm
- Women’s fitness boxing (including mums & daughters) for ages 11 upwards is held on Wednesdays from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
- Adults’ focused boxing for ages 16 and upwards takes place on Fridays between 3:45pm and 5pm
Other guest speakers at today’s event included PCC Deputy Head Vaughan Edwards, Cllr Eric Gordon (Chair of Patchway Town Council), Cllr Mike Drew (Chair of South Gloucestershire Council) and Quinton Shillingford (Director of Boxing Awards).
Cllr Gordon expressed the Town Council’s support for the new venture:
“The Council is very pleased to be involved in the launch of this facility and is always keen to support any activitiy that will encourage young people of both sexes to participate in sport.”
“Boxing, in my view, has always been a brilliant sport when it comes to discipline and self-control – raising self-esteem and boosting confidence.”
“I hope this launch is the beginning of many successes to come for Patchway Community College and, of course, for Patchway as a whole.”