A community centre in Toxteth is set to be officially recognised as an amateur boxing gym.
The move will bring The New Belve Youth and Community Centre in line with England Boxing regulations.
According to the centre’s chairperson, Mary Hughes, the recognition comes as a result of a lot of hard work.
“At the moment it’s a kid’s boxing club. We’ve already got staff trained up, they’ve been on courses, first aid courses, safeguarding courses and the actual level one trainer courses. That’s all in preparation for us becoming an ABA (Amateur Boxing Association),” she said.
“It’s a process you’ve got to go through and it’s not something that happens overnight. You’ve got to be able to prove that you’re doing everything properly. You’ve got to jump through hoops.”
The boxing gym is open to anyone to use throughout the day.
It also runs group boxing sessions and former Olympian and professional boxer Courtney Fry teaches group sessions at the gym for people living with disabilities.
Hughes explained: “Courtney has actually specialised more than anything in working with disabled groups, people with learning difficulties, and he not only does groups in here, he actually goes into schools and teaches the special needs children that are out of school and out of education.
“We’ve also got Dee Taggart, who is a Northern Irish boxing coach, who is actually fronting our kids boxing at the moment.”
Groups such as these may benefit most from the gym being officially recognised by England Boxing. They now have a clear pathway into amateur boxing, and from that can potentially pursue a career in boxing.
Hughes said: “They can now go in for all the trials and that’s how you get to the Olympics. That’s your stepping stone, if you want, in your boxing career because you have to go through all these processes. If they’re good, they end up being selected by the England team.
“We’ve got a few little prospects as well. A few of them are really good.”
The New Belve will be unveiling themselves as an Amateur boxing gym to the local community on St Patricks Day, March 17th.