TANYA YILMAZ looks at two more of the charities that have benefited from the funds raised by Swindon’s Charity Ball

BOXING isn’t just about putting up a fight against your opponent.

For Scrappers Gym, boxing is about uniting people irrespective of abilities, age or disability and showing how it can be used as a way of making us better people in the world.

Since opening its doors in Hillmead in 2013, thousands have walked through the doors of the gym and while the trip for many has been without any problem, those in wheelchairs have to use the entrance to the 24-hour gym to access Scrappers – something which will soon be changing.

Thanks to a £2,516 grant from the Swindon Charity Ball, a ramp is to be installed at the back of the gym allowing wheelchair users ease of access without assistance.

Paul Rogers, Scrappers Gym head boxing coach said the team were thrilled to hear that their application had been successful.

“When we started this whole thing, we didn’t look at how we were going to get people into the gym,” Paul admitted.

“But as time went and people started arriving in wheelchairs we decided to try and do something about it because it is so important.

“We thought if we had a more accessible entrance, it would make life a lot easier for people.

“They will be more independent as well by being able to use the ramp because they can come and go as they want.”

Scrappers was set up by Swindon Children’s Scrapstore after former ABA champion Paul Rogers and British kickboxing champion Andy Brown offered their time and skills to run a project that would motivate and inspire young people and adults.

Since then a host of volunteers have come forward to help, and in the past year alone they have coached almost 2,000 youngsters between five and 19.

Those benefiting from the gym come from far and wide to use the facilities as Swindon’s only charity and community gym.

One member, 53-year-old Jane, loves to visit Scrappers to see the trainers who, over the last few months, have put her through her paces both in and outside the ring.

“I really like being in the ring,” she said.

“The ramp is going to give people a lot of independence. I am not working at the moment and I’m on Employment and Support Allowance because my doctor says it is a stress-related illness. But in that I have built up a fear of going out into the world.

“I have a lot of anger and I use this place to get rid of it and my dad has just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s so I’m hoping he can join me here because the gym caters for everyone.”

Plans to install the ramp will be put in motion over the next few months and Paul also has high hopes to broaden the appeal of the gym further by starting an amateur boxing club.

“I think the community side is why the gym has worked because everyone is here to help people so it creates a nice atmosphere,” Paul said.

“We have so many different people come to the gym and use it and we have one man who loves coming here and while physically he can’t do a lot, he gives it a go.

“One thing you see if that everyone comes away feeling happy and it gives them something to look forward to.”