No-home boxing club on the ropes
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