Boxing: Back from the brink and on steady ground

Bolsover Boxing Club
Bolsover Boxing Club

On the eve of their first year anniversary in a new home, Bolsover Boxing Club is going from strength to strength.

The community-run gym has seen more than twice as many people come through its doors since it moved to a town centre location on North Gate.

As well as an increase in participation, the club has seen a rise in its registered fighters from eight to 17.

The vast majority of them will be competing at the club’s amateur night held at Clowne’s, The Arc, on May 17.

It’s a statistic which also bodes well for the community, states former English Welsterwight champion - and club co-founder - Gavin Down.

He said: “Kids need somewhere to go. If they’re out on the street there’s more chance of them getting up to no good.

“If they’re putting their mind to something in a welcoming environment then I think it can only better the community.

“It teaches them discipline and gives them a goal.”

Just 14 months ago it was a very different story.

The club was on the brink of collapse as Gavin, dad Dennis and Richard Henson went about finding a new permanent home.

“Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise,” he said.

“We now have one room with everything in it for people to train, sparr or chat with friends. We’re closer to the people that need it.

“I’d say 75 per cent of our members use the gym to keep fit. It’s great exercise. Not everyone wants to compete.

“It’s a lot different now to when I was starting out.”

He added: “Back then I never thought I’d see girls in the gym, because it was all about boxing.

“Now there’s more to the sport. We have a varied membership and cater for it.”

The amateur boxing night at Clowne’s The Arc on May 17 has 15 fight planned. Tickets cost £10. Ringside £15. Contact Gavin on 07956 353 796 for more information.