Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boxing Club Proves a Hit in Community

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boxing Club Proves a Hit in Community

Article excerpt

Byline: KELLEY PRICE kelley.price@reachplc.com @kelleyprice_gaz

BILLINGHAM Boxing Club founder Adrian Worth remembers the moment he realised they had created 'more than just a club.'.

"One of the lads said to me 'you've done this really well, it's a community'.

"To hear a thing like that is just as rewarding as the young lad that won his first boxing match," says the dadof-three.

A year and a half since it started, the club is packed to the rafters every session.

They say it gives a "sense of belonging" to people - especially the younger kids - who come through its doors.

Now the club has acquired a proper home in the former town centre Moss and Campbell shop.

But first it must raise PS20,000 to overhaul the place.

The club started with just four lads, then Adrian offered coaching for a girl who got beaten up on the way home from school.

Word of his kind deed quickly got round.

"We had about 12 messages from parents asking for coaching," he said, "saying things like 'my son's being bullied'. So we let them all come.

They say you discipline, more than sense of "There's nothing like this in Billingham. We've got 20 a class at the minute. We could have 30."

Adrian " He added: "The youngest kid is 12 and the oldest is 55 so it's a mixed group.

"A parent stopped me after the class and said the school had rung them to say they'd seen a real change in their son's behaviour and he was doing well. They credited me and the coaches for that.

"Three quarters of the kids through the door probably won't box, but they're just as important as the ones that do.

"Especially if they're going down the wrong path in life.

"They say boxing gives you discipline, here it's more than that - it's a sense of belonging, they feel part of something.

"They start to carry themselves a bit differently, get some selfesteem. …

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