A new boxing club for youngsters in Beverley is proving to be a real knockout, thanks to the work of a dedicated bunch of volunteers.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is celebrating the valuable contributions and achievements of local volunteers’ as part of National Volunteers’ Week 2014, 1-7 June, and hopes their stories will encourage more people to consider offering some of their time to support community projects.
The boxing and fitness club, based at the youth and family support centre in Burden Road, was launched only a few months ago.
Now over 50 youngsters regularly attend and around 20 more are on a waiting list to join.
The Track Fitness and Boxing Club was launched by Mike Pardoe, who has worked for the council for 16 years as an assistant engineer in highways, and a friend, Phil Dodsworth.
Now Mike and Phil have received a High Sheriff’s Award in recognition of their valuable services to the community.
The award acknowledges their contribution to ‘enhancing the life of the community.’
The pair had tried for several years to launch a boxing club for youngsters in the town but it was only about four months ago when the club finally got off the ground, with the help of other volunteers.
“We were offered the use of the youth centre and from there things just exploded. We knew there would be quite a few kids wanting to join but it has just grown and grown and there are always queues outside waiting to get in,” said Mike.
He was a keen amateur teenage boxer himself and has been coaching amateur and professional boxing ever since. The club is training children of all ages.
Boxing sessions are held on Monday, Tuesday and Friday evenings, and on Wednesdays there are adult fitness sessions for men and women delivered by sought-after coach Stacey Reeves.
For those youngsters willing to work hard, their training will result in registration with the Amateur Boxing Association, and several of them will soon be boxing on the north eastern counties’ boxing circuit.
“We could not do it without the help of the other volunteers. It does take up a lot of time but we get a lot of satisfaction from it. The kids are just fantastic, boxing is teaching them discipline, to develop a positive mental attitude and most of all will aid in their development and of course improve their fitness because they are not sitting in front of the TV or their computers,” said Mike.
Councillor Jackie Cracknell, cabinet portfolio holder for community involvement and performance at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Volunteering time to support grass roots sport is a worthy cause and helps improve children’s health and social skills.
“I would like to congratulate Mike and Phil on establishing the Track Fitness and Boxing Club and it is great to see their hard work and dedication recognised by the High Sherriff.
“I would urge all of our residents to consider volunteering some of their time to help support projects in the local community.”
For further information about volunteering and National Volunteers’ Week, visit www.volunteering.org.uk or to find opportunities in your area, visit www.ervas.org.uk