A new boxing club for youngsters launched in Yate last week has been tipped to be a big success by ex-world champion Glenn Catley.
Empire ABC, based in St Paul’s, is one of the oldest and most successful amateur boxing clubs in Bristol, and has produced world champions such as Glenn Catley and Adrian Stone, and its latest high-profile fighter is the current British and Commonwealth super-fly weight champion Lee Haskins.
Empire ABC has founded the new club in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), Avon and Somerset Police and Yate International Academy, and also thanks to a grant from Sports England.
Boxing promoter Chris Sanigar, who manages Lee Haskins, will be the new club’s life president.
It is based at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex (YOSC), and runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 7pm and 9pm. It will cater for youngsters aged 10 and over, including local schools.
Former WBC super middleweight champion Glenn Catley said: “I am sure the club will be a success and produce boxers who will go on to train at my new academy which will be based at Filton College.”
Lee Haskins added: “I’ll be hoping to pay a visit when I can, to meet with the youngsters and pass on tips and advice.”
Councillor Heather Goddard, executive member for community services, said: “This is a great initiative between the council, Empire ABC, the police and Yate International Academy, to help encourage youngsters in the area to get involved in sports and lead an active lifestyle.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Deryck Rees said: “We welcome the Boxing Club to Yate and support the provision of sporting and other activities like this which teach young people valuable life skills.
“Youth groups like this fit with our current Relentless initiative, aiming to engage with young people.
“Young people can be vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime, or some may even be influenced into committing a crime themselves, so it’s really important that we connect with them early on by visiting them in positive situations like this. They need to understand that we are approachable and always there to help if they ever need us.”
Club secretary Martin Bisp thanked the police and the council for their involvement in setting up the new boxing venture. He said: “I would like to thank the police and the council for their help and support in setting up the new boxing club.”
More info: Yate (Empire) Amateur Boxing Club (SGC)
Source: South Gloucestershire Council