Members of a Plymouth boxing club will be as pleased as punch to get back in the ring when lockdown ends – and they’ll be doing it in smart new kit.
Fighters at Devonport Amateur Boxing Club (DABC) are getting branded club gear for competitions thanks to a £1,000 grant from South West Water, alongside a host of new training equipment in the gym.
The popular club is free of charge to join and welcomes members from the age of eight upwards, offering boxing training for fitness. Gym users can also spar with fellow members, with talented boxers often taking part in regional and national competitions for the club.
In normal times, it raises funds from local business sponsorship and boxing exhibitions, so Covid-19 restrictions have seriously affected its ability to raise its running costs. Three fundraising exhibitions have had to be cancelled over the last 12 months and it is still not clear when amateur boxing competitions will begin.
Despite the challenges, DABC has continued to offer training to members, with the management committee – all ex-boxers with connections to the club – insisting its valuable community work should continue. Some users have social anxiety or have faced bullying, while others have been referred to the club by social services or the police, and so benefit from the discipline and skills taught.
Outdoor training has carried on during lockdown, while younger children have been able to take part in Zoom online training sessions each week.
Club volunteer Marie McNaught applied for the club’s grant after seeing information about South West Water’s new Neighbourhood Fund in her water bill. The water company is currently handing out £100,000 to worthy causes this year across its operating area.
Marie said: “Everyone at the Devonport Amateur Boxing Club is delighted with the donation from South West Water. The money will be used to buy kit, which means our members will look smart in competitions and feel unified as a team.
“We never usually ask for money for kit and equipment, so South West Water has really taken this burden off us and ensures the team remains on equal footing. We are committed to never charge fees so we can welcome as many users as possible, but not being able to run our usual fundraising exhibitions has hurt us financially. We are very grateful for the help.”
Jo Ecroyd, South West Water customer service director, added, “Coronavirus has heavily impacted fundraising for organisations like Devonport Amateur Boxing Club so we’re really happy to be able to help out and ensure these important community initiatives can continue.”
South West Water is giving back to the region it works within and cares about by actively improving the lives of its people and the places they love for generations to come. The pandemic has emphasised the importance of local communities and South West Water is investing in supporting people across Devon and Cornwall to build back and connect communities. The South West Water Neighbourhood Fund is making a tangible difference to the lives of people living in Devon and Cornwall.
South West Water is making this investment to better the lives of local people through funding projects which protect nature and the environment for the benefit of community health and well-being; provide new opportunities for people to learn and develop; bring communities together, virtually or physically – when safe to do so; and/or support the upkeep of local neighbourhood centres and facilities to keep communities strong.
To find out more about the South West Water Neighbourhood Fund, visit southwestwater.co.uk/community/support/neighbourhood-fund