Boxing Clubs have often been a place of reform, discipline and escape for many young people to channel there drive and energy into a productive force, whilst building a positive mental attitude, fitness and a respect that boxing often achieves.
The un-sung hero coaches of these inner city clubs, who give there time and energy to serve the community and there love and passion for game, philanthropists who work tirelessly in there labour of love, often against funding restrictions and in the case of Chelmsley Wood ABC in Birmingham, vandalism and arson from mindless idiots who would have no business in a boxing environment, but through breaking and entering!
In March burglars broke into the gym on Chapelhouse Road, Till Cross, slashing and recking all the equipment and then setting fire to the building of there gym home, breaking the hearts of the young lads and coaches who train there. The club has provided the local estate’s lads with a focal point for many years, which was founded by John Costello.
It is a sad state of affairs when the good guys seem to be the ones who are given the tests in life, that can stretch a saints patience and resolve, but in the case of Paul Webb a coach at the club he is determined to get the club back on its feet and rise out the ashes.
The club has been told that the building is un-safe to go back to, and they have had to move there camp to a temporary industrial unit, although with most of there equipment being ruthlessly slashed, they have been relying on kind donations from the boxing community to help them get back on there feet.
“Vandals broke into the club and set fire to it, along with slashing the equipment.” Paul Webb told British Boxers – Birmingham City Council have said that the building is unsafe. So we have moved to a temporary unit which is pretty cold and more of a industrial unit. We are looking for suitable premises, because the council have said it could be next year until we could have any help or funding from them.”
“Kerry Kayes of CNP made a kind donation, I rang him up to see if he had any old bags laying about his gym that we could use, straight away he said, ‘I’ll post a cheque tonight’ what a true gent he is. And Laura Saperstein who has been a great help, informed Andy at Lemarr Boxing Equipment of what had happened and he was kind enough to send us a large box of gloves and boots etc to cheer the lads up. added Paul.
“We are approaching the council again to see if we could do the work ourselves if we could raise the money from a fundraiser. It’s a big ask, but we’ll be washing cars outside if we need to. Whatever we have to do to get the kids a home, we’ll do it.”
“The gym is home to many young lads who depend on it to keep them off the streets as well as having a history of being used by names such as Pele Reid, Danny Williams and Amir Khan.”
“We are determined to keep Chelmsley Wood ABC going. The kids have worked so hard to build its good name, and they were really down after what happened, and it is a shame after all the hard work they had put into training and the gym. We have some really good lads coming through, the likes of Jack Marsh and Jordon Clayton, and when they saw the gear that Lemarr had sent us there eyes lit up!” Paul added.
If any British Boxers readers can help or knows somebody who can make a donation of equipment and the like, or knows of a suitable premises for them in the Chelmsley Wood area, please contact Paul Webb on 07967 300 205 thank-you! By Chris Maylett for BritishBoxers.co.uk