A Doncaster boxing club is packing a real punch after landing a big-hitting donation.
The Doncaster Boxing Academy certainly isn’t on the ropes after landing a knockout £5,000 boost from South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright.
The county police chief officially unveiled the club in Parkway South, Wheatley, which will be used to give youngsters a taste of boxing and introduce new life skills as well as teaching users about discipline and sport.
The club, housed within the former local library, will offer boxing training every weeknight and has been totally converted to provide a state-of-the-art boxing gym.
Young boxers can make the most of training in a £2,500 boxing ring as well as getting to grips with bags, weights and boxing gloves - all paid for using the Commissioner’s grant.
The academy secured £4,900 of funding from the PCC’s Proceeds of Crime Grants Scheme, which uses money taken directly from criminals to benefit local communities.
On opening the academy, Mr Wright said: “It is very important that we invest in our young people and places such as this provide a fantastic opportunity for them to engage in an interesting hobby that offers much more than just sport.
“The broader skills they also learn here will be of great value to them as they progress through life.
“I am also pleased to see money taken from criminals being channelled into community initiatives like this.
“I wish everyone involved with Doncaster Boxing Academy every success with this brilliant venture and I will look forward to meeting Wheatley’s first champion boxer in a few years’ time!”
Also in attendance were Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, and Coun John Sheppard, one of the founders of the academy, as well as Sheffield’s former World Champion boxer Paul ‘Silky’ Jones, who was the first British-born world light middleweight champ, and his former trainer Ian Allcock.
More than 50 people attended the opening event, with 30 young people taking part in the boxing.
All of them had the opportunity to do a bit of training with the boxing champ and have a photograph taken with him.
Coun Sheppard explained the purpose of the club, saying: “As a local councillor, I fought very hard for the library to remain open. “Unfortunately, as this was not possible, it was important to all of us to ensure the building remained a community hub.
“Through boxing, we hope to teach the basics of fitness and stamina and then introduce other elements that require dedication and self-discipline to master.”