A BOXING trainer has praised residents and councillors for working to reopen a Sheffield club after metal thieves trashed the gym, forcing it to close.
The gym was broken into three times in a week last year by thieves who pulled down the ceiling and smashed up toilets and showers to steal copper piping.
Work has now begun to turn The Manor Boxing Club into a fitness centre.
Trainer Chris Smedley said: “I am really pleased with the progress being made to reopen this important local facility and I am amazed at the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication of Sheffield Council and our volunteers.”
Volunteer Patrick Meleady said: “It’s a wonderful resource, and the support we have received from of our local ward councillors and Uriah Rennie from Sheffield International Venues has been first class.”
Steve Barnes, who has run the gym for the last 13 years, said: “Raiders stole the boiler, stripped out the pipes and took boxing equipment, including a portable ring and punch bags. I was very upset but we are making progress and it is rising like a phoenix from the ashes.”