World Boxing Champion unveils new knock out facilities at Sheffield school

World boxing champ Kell Brook has unveiled some knock-out new facilities in a Sheffield school's former caretaker's lodge.

Saturday, 6th February 2016, 5:00 am
World champion boxer Kell Brook, Ryan Rhodes and Sam O'Maison with pupil Fatima Wright at the Hatfield Academy to open the new media centre. Picture: Andrew Roe

Kell took time out of his preparations for his world title bout against Kevin Bizier next month to officially open a new media centre at Hatfield Academy in Sheffield on Thursday.

Former European light-middleweight champion Ryan Rhodes and Sheffield boxing prospect Sam O’Maison were also in attendance as current IBF World Welterwight Champion Kell cut the ribbon to the centre with headteacher Charlotte Blenclowe.

The new, high-tech media centre was converted from a dilapidated caretaker’s lodge in a six-week project.

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Some of the children at the school had a chance to pose questions to Kell and Ryan during their special visit.

Kell said he was more than happy to be there.

“It’s fantastic,” he said.

“When I was at school, if someone like a world champion came in and was talking to the class, I was really intrigued as to what they had to say and I really listened.

“It’s showing around this area that there’s a drive, and I think it’s great they’ve got these facilities here now for the children. They look really upmarket and up-to-date.”

Hatfield Academy‘s strapline is ‘Nurturing Talent’ and the school is doing their utmost to live up to the motto with the new centre.

On one side there is an extensive ICT room with the aim of improving the students’ IT skills, while the other focuses on creative aspects within the media, with advanced green screen technology, a 3D printer and several iMacs. Ms Blenclowe said she was delighted to welcome Kell to the opening and hoped it would encourage the children to utilise the new facilities on offer and follow their dreams.

“He’s local, committed to what he’s done and knew where his talents lay,” she said.

“I wanted the children at Hatfield Academy to welcome somebody locally who has done so well through having their talent nurtured.

“When they start to use the facilities here hopefully they understand we’re going to nurture everybody’s talent and they could be as successful as Kell Brook.

“He’s an inspiration, a local inspiration as well. It gives the children something that is very unique and different that they get to ask somebody of that stature questions.”