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CLUB OF THE WEEK: Horseshoe ABC
A WELCOME cash injection at Horseshoe Amateur Boxing Club will help expand a thriving operation, according to head coach Brian Roberts.
Horseshoe have only been up and running for two years and have been using borrowed equipment on a daily basis.
But now a £10,000 cash boost from Sport England has allowed them to invest heavily in facilities at their base at Crowood House on Gipsy Lane.
“It’s a substantial amount of money and it has helped us no end, without that we’d still be holding medicine balls to punch,” said Roberts.
“We’ve bought two floor-mounted rings, a machine for cross-training as well as punchbags and everything else, so it’s kitted us out really nicely.
“Beforehand we were just using what we had and what we could scrounge, things like second-hand bags.
“We’re a volunteer organisation so no one gets paid for it. It’s expensive to run the club and without the funding we would have found it hard, although we would have carried on.
“We’ve managed to use all the money and it has really helped us out.”
In terms of membership the club has rapidly expanded over the course of its existence, the Greenbridge outfit having first registered with the Amateur Boxing Association in September 2011.
More than seven times the amount of boxers that were at the club for its inception are now on board – the oldest being 50 and the youngest primary school age – as Roberts explains.
“We started off two years ago with six boxers and now we have got 46,” he said.
“We have 14 carded boys which means they are ready to box anywhere around the country.
“Our aim is to make champions but we know that they don’t come along that often, every 10 years or so you might get an ABA champion, so really we aim to get kids on in life and help them out.
“These days the ABA recognises that there are boxers and those who learn the skills but never take part in the sport itself, because it’s tremendous for fitness.
“The main thing about our club is that we’re open to everybody from all walks of life. We don’t turn anyone away.”
Roberts is hoping that members of the Horseshoe setup will at some point take it upon themselves to help out behind the scenes at the club.
“I oversee the running of the club and all our volunteers play ball and we get on famously,” he said. “There’s three other coaches with me and hopefully in years to come the club will expand and encourage more people to come along.
“Nothing gives you a bigger thrill than seeing new people come into the game and stay in the game and end up giving something back. Hopefully some of the boxers here will do that.”
The club will hold an open day to showcase their new equipment on Friday at 6.30pm.
Ex-boxers including Paddy Burke, Ricky Porter and Eddie Neilson will be present and all are welcome.
Horseshoe will also hold its end-of-season presentation night on Saturday at Crowood House.
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