A local boxing gym in Sheffield received a cheque for £4,494 from South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings.

The funding, awarded from his Community Grant scheme, has been provided to assist the boxing gym, based in Sharrow, provide constructive activity for young people in the area as a more purposeful way of spending their leisure time. In some cases it will undoubtedly divert some young people from the temptations of petty crime and vandalism.

The gym housed inside The Old Sharrow Junior School is a hub of the community. The young people speak many different languages and come from a diverse range of backgrounds.

The Commissioner said:  “I visited the gym last year and met the young people and those who train them. I was very impressed by what I saw. The gym enables the young people, male and female, to learn new skills, build self respect and respect for others. It brings together young people of many different  communities. This funding will help them maintain the equipment and train the coaches to comply with ABA standards.”

Of the 170 members currently registered, the majority are between the ages of seven and 30 and live in the Sharrow/South Sheffield areas of the city.  Members are drawn from the Asian, Eastern European, Indian, Afro-Caribbean, Chinese, Somali, Iranian and White British communities

Brendan Warburton, Head Coach of the establishment welcomed the Commissioner to the gym.  He said: “I would like to thank Dr Billings for his visit and the grant funding. This financial contribution will help the boxing club develop and provide more opportunities for young people in the community. We already have two university boxing teams and we would like to encourage more to come along and take up the sport.”

The boxing club is open five evenings per week and Saturday mornings over 49 weeks of the year. During these times as many as thirty boxers are off the streets each night and engaging in activities that build respect for themselves and others.

A number of the coaches started off as young boxers and have progressed to being coaches through training schemes run by the ABA and funded by the club.  In addition the club runs at least three boxing shows a year that attract an audience of around 200 people at each event.