MEMBERS of Trinity Boxing Club were celebrating this week after receiving news from Sport England that they are to be the recipient of a grant from lottery funding.
The Ilkeston club, which relies entirely on its own fundraising efforts to function, will receive the grant from Sport England’a ‘Small Grants’ programme.
It will be used to continue developing the club and provide equipment for the 50-plus members.
Club leader Scott Rafferty said: “This is fantastic news for us all at the club.
“We will be able to continue our work in the local community and bring in more young people into our sports development programme.
“The new equipment will help everyone in the club but will also enable us to introduce more young people to our sport.”
Over the past year over 40 young people have been given the opportunity to join in with club activities and many still remain.
There is a waiting list of prospective boxers who will now benefit from this grant.
Mr Rafferty added: “Although we have received this very generous gift from Sport England there is still a need to attract sponsorship.
“The grant is only for new equipment and may not be used to replace existing equipment, so we are still in need of new gloves and punch bags to replace worn out equipment.
“We already have a big sponsor in Ilkeston Plumbing and would like to increase this number as there is also a need for a main club sponsor to help with developing the club’s talented squad and helping them reach their full potential.”
For more information of club activities or to offer help with sponsorship, contact Scott Rafferty on 079 5656 55 82
Two of the club’s talented squad have important dates in the next week and have been preparing to face tough opposition in national semi-finals.
Club captain Russ Henshaw, who last season won the national novice class A heavyweight title, is gunning for an impressive double, this time in the class B event which features more experienced boxers.
Henshaw, 27, who is also a double Derbyshire ABA and Midland Counties champion, will face Newcastle fighter Carl Edmund at the Everton Park Sports Centre in Liverpool on Saturday.
Having already taken care of two more experienced men recently, including one national champion, Henshaw will be in determined mood as he fights to win a place in the national final in Portsmouth on December 10.
Female national champion Chloe Hemstock, 14, will also be aiming to make it two national titles when she goes into action in Manchester next week.
First will be a semi-final, yet to be drawn at the Gorton Leisure Centre, followed by the final the following week.
Chloe was at Midland Counties squad training recently and impressed the coaches there when sparring fellow national champions, displaying enough talent to be invited on a proposed training camp by the Midlands association to Lithuania where she will get the opportunity to train with and compete against a rapidly developing power house of international boxing.
There was disappointment for super heavyweight Jake Harrison last week when he was forced to pull out of his fight with highly-rated James Ducile in Birmingham after sustaining an ankle injury in training.
Midland Counties champion Harrison will now concentrate on preparing for the elite ABA championships in the new year where he will be joined by other Trinity entrants Russ Henshaw at heavyweight and flyweight Jamie Williams.
Harrison and Williams also have an exciting challenge in the new year when they feature on a Derbyshire ABA-promoted bill at Pride Park Stadium, Derby, where they will bid to win the Derbyshire challenge belt in their respective weights.