No-home box­ing club on the ropes

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - An­drew Bargh

A coach at a popular Air­drie box­ing club ad­mits he fears for the fu­ture of the es­tab­lish­ment as they have“nowhere to call home”.

Four Isles, based in Peters­burn, at­tracts scores of bud­ding box­ers to the club each week and op­er­ates out of the area’s com­mu­nity cen­tre three times a week.

Coaches cur­rently have to ar­rive around 45 min­utes prior to train­ing, and stay for the same time af­ter­wards, to set up and take down equip­ment – with the box­ing ring fash­ioned from four poles set up on the floor.

A spokesman for the club told the Ad­ver­tiser they are on the ropes, and em­pha­sised the need for new premises, while urg­ing North La­nark­shire Coun­cil to help.

He said:“This isn’t an at­tack on the coun­cil, we are des­per­ate to work with them.

“We’ve spo­ken to them in the past but it is now a cry for help as we must find some­where soon.

“We are train­ing in a com­mu­nity cen­tre and our hands are to­tally tied with re­gards to pro­gress­ing as a club.

“We can’t put mir­rors up on the wall or use a proper ring and coaches spend a lot of time hang­ing up and tak­ing down heavy bags.

“I re­ally fear for the fu­ture of the club; we get loads of kids in and do great work in the com­mu­nity. But it will get to the stage when new mem­bers turn up and leave after one ses­sion be­cause we can’t of­fer what other clubs can in terms of a place to call home.”

Four Isles com­mu­nity cen­tre is lo­cated next to the former Peters­burn li­brary build­ing which was con­tro­ver­sially closed last sum­mer.

The club, which was es­tab­lished more than 35 years ago, be­lieves the build­ing is per­fect for them to sign a lease on and keep them in the heart of the Peters­burn com­mu­nity.

The spokesman con­tin­ued:“The li­brary has been empty for more than a year and I can’t see that chang­ing any­time soon.

“We’ve been told that it has been ear­marked for a record­ing stu­dio but there has been no progress or de­vel­op­ment with that build­ing.

“It is so frus­trat­ing see­ing it lie empty while we train in a com­mu­nity cen­tre next door.

“We don’t do this for financial gain, we just love the sport, want to keep kids off the street and train good box­ers.

“We re­ally want to work with the coun­cil but I’m con­cerned they don’t see the po­ten­tial this club has.”

A spokesman for North La­nark­shire Coun­cil said: “We have dis­cussed this mat­ter with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the box­ing club to support them with their goal of find­ing a per­ma­nent new home.

“How­ever, there is noth­ing avail­able which meets their needs.

“The former Peters­burn li­brary build­ing is not for sale and Cul­ture NL has iden­ti­fied the build­ing for po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ment.

“We will con­tinue to of­fer support the club in their quest to find a suit­able new venue.”

Counted out The former Peters­burn li­brary

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