A new boxing club and gym have breathed life into the former Co-op premises in Stanton Hill.
Starbox Amateur Boxing Club is a brand new venture in premises that had stood vacant for over four years and offers a great new opportunity for anyone wanting to try out boxing for anything from fitness to competition fights.
“I managed to strike a deal with the Co-op, who still own the place, to take on a five-year lease as an amateur boxing club,” said head coach Kevin Henshaw.
“My wife and I are foster carers and this gym is strictly not-for-profit. I don’t pick up a wage and my coaches don’t pick up a wage. We are doing it for the love of boxing and wanting to try to help the community.
“I am 43 now and I’ve boxed since I was 12, so I have a passion for it. We are doing something we enjoy.
“Now we are affiliated to the ABA, we can start to try to put a team together to compete and win trophies. There is enough room here to put seats in so we may put some of out own shows on.”
He added: “It’s all up and running now after three months putting it together.
“The reaction locally has been fantastic seeing what we’ve done to the place. It’s been unreal. We chose here due to passing traffic. There is a car past every 10-20 seconds.
“Stanton Hill is a small place so we never expected to get all our numbers from here, but we are getting people from the surrounding area and we may get boxers want to join from other clubs once the season starts.
“If any local parents think boxing is just about violence I need to try to educate them.
“No one gets thrown into the ring. Being healthy and active is the main priority and they progress through different levels. If they want to progress to competitions as well the door is open for them.”
Henshaw is applying for charity status to help them with their fund-raising and will also be hiring out the gym when boxing sessions are not taking place.
“With only just having opened we have not done any advertising yet. But the gym is a fair size and could be used for meetings and all sorts of events,” he said.
“If someone wanted to hire it out help us pay the electricity bills we’d be very happy to hear from them.”
They will also be getting involved in community projects and, after discussions with local charity shop The Vine Tree, have agreed to utilise the gym as Santa’s Grotto at Christmas with an ice rink outside.
The boxing sessions take place on Mondays/Tuesdays (6-8pm), Wednesdays/Thursdays (5.30-7.30pm), and Sundays (10am-noon). Call Kevin Henshaw on 07765 611469 for more information.