Sheffield boxing club forced to close by deluge seeks cash for new home

A popular Sheffield boxing club is trying to raise the funds for a new home after being forced to close by the downpours which caused widespread flooding.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 2:17 pm

Laces Boxing Club has helped hundreds of young people since opening on Little London Road, near Heeley, in 2012.

But the gym had been left on the ropes due to the run-down building it occupied, which had grown more dilapidated over the years, and the recent deluge delivered the knock-out blow.

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A training session at Laces Boxing Club on Little London Road, in Sheffield

Water came gushing through the already leaky roof, drenching the ring and training area and forcing the club to close and seek alternative premises.

A new larger and more weather-proof venue has now been found at an old paint factory on the same road but the club needs to raise at least £1,000 to refurbish its new home.

Head coach Jono Kirk said: “Our old home was already very run-down to the extent that as soon as you’d fix one leak another would appear. But after the heavy rain it was like being outside, with water coming through all over the place, and we had no choice but to close.

“Luckily we’ve found new premises and we want to reopen there in the new year but we need a lot of help to do so.”

Damage to the interior of Laces Boxing Club's old home on Little London Road in Sheffield, which was forced to close following heavy rain

As well as raising £1,000 for equipment ranging from paint and tiles to a new ring canvas, the club is relying on members and supporters to donate their time to get its new home ready for action.

The club hit the headlines last year when one of its pupils, Junior David, won the MTK Box Cup competition in Cumbria, which had attracted entrants from as far afield as Norway and Australia.

But for Mr Kirk and his colleagues, there is much more at stake than winning awards.

“It’s an outlet for children who want to keep in shape and raise their self-esteem, even if they don’t want to move into boxing more seriously, and it’s really important we continue to provide that for them at a low price,” he said.

“Parents over the years have told us how their children’s grades have gone up, they’ve grown in confidence and their behaviour has improved both at home and in school. It’s great for young people’s general well-being and an opportunity for them to form lasting friendships.

“It’s extremely exciting to have a new home because the children deserve something a bit better and we’re looking forward to them getting in there and picking up a paintbrush to help get the gym open again as soon as possible.”