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Sunday, 27 June 2010

Grand opening of the National Smelters Boxing Gym

This blog has followed the progress of the Avonmouth National Smelters Boxing Club new-gym build. From lowly beginnings ( some girders in the mud) to a superb new facility...

It has all been down to the dedication and work of coach Garry Cave and his team of helpers and volunteers. Today, I was honoured to help open the Gym .

After the club held its AGM and prize giving, I opened the gym with Garry, (left, black T-shirt) and regional boxing developer, Roger Eady (right)

I have blogged incessantly, including an article in the Telegraph, about why boxing is so important for young people. I remember getting cross when one lady told me 'it taught young people to hit' - I'm afraid young people are already perfectly capable of hitting without going to a boxing club. But what boxing does do is channel natural aggression and energy into a disciplined and highly technical sport, and helps young men feel confident enough to walk AWAY from a fight.

But it is also the kind of family that builds up around a club like the National Smelters Club. At the prize giving, every boxer was valued, and I am always so impressed by one particular prize that's handed out: The Boxer's Boxer - the recipient is decided upon by the boxers themselves: They all go into a huddle and within 30 seconds, they have all mutually decided a winner. Try getting politicians to do something similar!

Garry just needs a bit more fundraising done before the gym is completely paid for. I intend to carry on helping and supporting the club, as well as boxing across the city; and now the madness of the General Election campaign is over, there's no excuse for me not to get the gloves back on and get back into the gym!

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