PREPARATIONS are well under way for the opening of a new boxing gym in Hemel – with the club’s coaches pledging to offer a disciplined outlet for the town’s young people.
Hemel Hempstead Boxing Club is the only registered amateur boxing club in Dacorum, and has recently taken on the lease for a vacant premises in The Queens square in Adeyfield.
Club chairman John O’Malley has been busy assisting with the development of the building, ready for a protracted opening date at the end of August or beginning of September.
“We really want to get the message out to everyone that we are here,” said John. “We are keen to make sure that the gym is used efficiently and to ensure that people see us as part of the core of the community.”
And with the recent riots nationwide, John is keen to point out the work that boxing can do to combat such issues.
“A boxing gym is a very unique environment, a very disciplined environment,” he said. “That works on two levels – the authority of the coaches, and the personal discipline of the boxers.
“In this current climate, that’s really important. What we have seen is a lot of people kicking off and there’s no real discipline in a lot of their lives.
“Clearly our club can’t solve all of the social ills, but for a lot of young people a boxing glove provides an outlet that could otherwise be a destructive one.
“A lot of boxers say that the sport gave them a perspective and a discipline that they may not have got anywhere else.”
One of John’s aims is for Hemel Hempstead Boxing Club to become a boxing centre of excellence, but he is also adamant that the gym does not lose sight of its amateur status.
The club is a non-profit organisation, but for that to be sustained, John says assistance from outside parties is essential.
“We are a voluntary organisation and all of our coaches are volunteers,” he said. “It’s about putting something back into the community.
“We’re starting at graduated levels and to do that, obviously we need to attract support.
“The biggest ask for us at the moment is funding. We are hoping that companies in Hemel will consider being either a club sponsor or a gym sponsor.”
The club is also on the look out for more trainers, as well as a volunteer to take charge of general administration. They are also searching for a webmaster to take care of the day-to-day running of a club website.
John believes that helping out at the club – whether it is in terms of time or funding – will be especially advantageous in the coming year.
“There will be a lot of interest in amateur boxing during and in the build up to the Olympics.”
To get involved with the club, please call John on 01442 397277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org