Box­ing club look­ing foranewhome­base

Hinckley Times - - NEWS - KAREN HAMBRIDGE karen.hambridge@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

BOX­ING club bosses in Earl Shilton have just three months to find a new home or face col­lapse.

The town’s spar­ring and train­ing gym has been above re­tail units on High Street for the last 20 years of its ex­is­tence.

Run by vol­un­teers and at­tract­ing keen ama­teurs from across the bor­ough and be­yond, the club has pro­duced a string of Euro­pean and na­tional cham­pi­ons, with a hand­ful of the bright­est turn­ing pro.

Now the club needs to re­lo­cate to a new base be­cause their build­ing is be­ing re­de­vel­oped. The car­pet shop on the ground floor is to make way for a con­ve­nience store and a Sub­way fran­chise while the up­stairs is be­ing turned into flats.

The owner of the prop­erty has been given plan­ning per­mis­sion for the changes and Earl Shilton Ama­teur Box­ing Club has un­til around Christ­mas time to de­part.

Head coach Craig Perkins has been in­volved for more than three decades af­ter first pick­ing up gloves at around 10.

He said: “We’ve prob­a­bly got about 60 or 70 mem­bers from the town and right out to Wigston and Ib­stock and some come for gen­eral fit­ness while oth­ers come to de­velop their box­ing skills.

“I started as a boxer then moved into mak­ing matches and now I’m head coach. It’s a great feel­ing tak­ing kids off the street, help­ing them learn to box, in­still­ing some dis­ci­pline and see them grow into young gen­tle­men.

“All our coaches are vol­un­teers and while we don’t pay any rent we do pay our way with bills. Club subs help with that.

“Now we are fac­ing this sit­u­a­tion where we have been asked to leave and so far we haven’t been able to iden­tify a suit­able place to move to.

“If we don’t get a new home then the club will close and it will be a dev­as­tat­ing blow for the town. Every­one knows what a big part of the com­mu­nity the club is, it would be a dis­as­ter.”

Be­ing a not for profit en­ter­prise Craig said they were lim­ited as to how much money they could spend should a new venue re­quire a fee. But agree­ments could be made.

Ide­ally the club is af­ter a sports hall style room, at least 20ft by 40ft. Any­one who might be able to help should con­tact Craig on craigan­tho­nyper­kins72@gmail.com

Earl Shilton Ama­teur Box­ing Club needs a new home and has just a few months to find one. Pic­tured: Mem­bers of the club in­clud­ing cur­rent youth Euro­pean cham­pion Billy Smith, Tyler Rivers cur­rent na­tional cham­pion, pro­fes­sional box­ers Kyle Hay­wood , Sam ‘The Bul­let’ Bowen whose next fight will be for the Bri­tish ti­tle, and many more reg­is­tered box­ers along with head coach (front blue T-shirt) Craig Perkins and two other coaches Sean Fo­ran and Richard John­son.

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