Successful boxing club seeks larger premises

BOXING SUCCESS:  Airedale Amateur Boxing Club has outgrown its current premises.
BOXING SUCCESS: Airedale Amateur Boxing Club has outgrown its current premises.
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Airedale Amateur Boxing Club continues to go from “strength to strength.”

The club, formed 13 years ago, has become so successful that it has outgrown its premises.

It is now seeking larger facilities in the area or to possibly look at extending its current home to accommodate the growing number of youngsters it caters for.

The club have contacted local MP Yvette Cooper and hope to enlist her help.

Numerous other sports teams, including local junior rugby and football sides, also use the club’s premises at Hill Top Community Centre, Kershaw Avenue, Airedale.

Club coach Chris Irving said “We are growing from strength to strength, not only with the boxing but also with other groups using the place.

“With the help of a small grant, we’ve run two separate eight week courses for girls and boys who have never been to boxing. We gave them supervised training and two of the weeks were geared to healthy eating. It was free for those who attended with certificates based on the bronze schools award.”

English and Commonwealth boxing champion Josh Warrington recently visited the club.

“It was great that Josh took time out from his busy schedule to visit us. He spent a few hours talking to everyone and they all took photos.” said 51-year-old Mr Irving who trained as a professional coach with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association before moving to Leeds in 2005.

Mr Irving joined the Airedale club in 2010 and is one of three coaches. Another helper is going on a coaching course next month and they all work at the club on a voluntary basis.

“Last week we had about 200 people come through the door to the boxing club over a period of four nights,” said Mr Irving.

“We are now at the stage where we have outgrown the place. We were asked to do another project but we had to turn it down due to the small facilities.

“Even though we have been given bit more space we could still do with more. We have a lot of girls wanting to join but we have to refuse them because we haven’t got separate training and shower facilities for them.

“I believe the boxing club is extremely important for local youngsters. It is not only the boxing itself but the specific training they are given that has helped many young people to instil discipline into their lives and allow them to make a better contribution to society. It gives them more focus.”