West Auckland Amateur Boxing Gym has invested in a range of new sports and training equipment thanks to a ‘knock-out’ £3,000 parish council grant.
Local entrepreneur Stephen Nicholson, who last year bought and converted the former youth club, said all those connected with the gym were incredibly grateful for its show of support.
He set up the gym through his love for the sport and a desire to give something back to a village that has so many family connections.
The donation, by West Auckland Parish Council, has been used to buy a set of weights, rowing machine, treadmill, and a variety of boxing equipment.
Stephen, the founder and managing director of bespoke painting and decorating service S Nicholson and Sons, said everyone is now looking forward to April 12 when, subject to the easing of lockdown-restrictions, boxing gyms can once again reopen.
He said: “Our amateur boxers are all raring to return following lockdown and this incredibly generous gesture from West Auckland Parish Council is the icing on the cake. I can promise all this new equipment is going to get some really good use!
“This is something that benefits the community, helping people discover a sport that not only offers a fantastic workout but teaches self-discipline and the value of hard work.”
Cllr Billy Robinson of West Auckland Parish Council said: “It’s great to have such a facility right here in the village and to find a positive use for a building that had been empty for so many years.
“The parish council is always looking to make improvements to the area and, as such, was pleased to offer support to a boxing gym that will benefit local people for many years to come.”
Head coach Ernest Spout said: “We recently installed a new boxing ring and, together with the equipment that we have been able to buy thanks to the parish council, West Auckland has a first-class training facility.”