Birmingham-based Andersons ABC tackling gang crime
May 12, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
Newly-named Andersons ABC of Birmingham held their first show earlier this month – and it proved to be an absolute belter.
A sell-out crowd of 300 were treated to 14 fantastically-contested bouts with a real buzzing atmosphere throughout.
Andersons ABC – formerly known as Northfield ABC, and originally Rubery ABC – has gone through ups and downs over the years since its original formation in 1981.
But founder, coach, and secretary for all of these years, Norman Anderson, is still with the club and lead coach Jason Gavin felt it was time to recognise his outstanding contribution to boxing by renaming the club in his honour earlier this year.
Gavin, a former Junior boxing champion who was himself coached by Anderson, said: “ Norman inspired us all as kids to strive to be better and that has stuck with me throughout my life.
“When the chance came for the club to reform I jumped at the chance of coaching there and was very grateful of being given the opportunity to offer something back to boxing and to our local community.”
The club is based in the Northfield area of Birmingham has gone from strength to strength in recent times.
As well as boasting a very successful competitive team, including Jason’s son and current Regional Junior Champion Billy Gavin, they also undertake a large amount of diversionary work in conjunction with the local police.
Anderson said: “We have a big gang culture in the locality and there have been some very serious attacks between young people, with knives and other weapons commonplace.
“We have provided a neutral and safe space for young people to come to and it is thriving, so much so that we will very soon have to look at expanding either the current building or relocating to bigger premises.”
England Boxing’s Club Support Officer for the Midlands Region, Mick Maguire, who also boxed for Norman in the 1980s at the then-Rubery ABC was at the recent show and was impressed by what he saw.
“Firstly, it was great to see a packed house enjoying an evening of amateur boxing,” he said. “Jason has done a wonderful job in creating a competitive squad again for the club and all the boxers on display showed an excellent level of skill.
“The work that both Jason and Norman carry out at the club is essential to the local community and the demand for their diversionary programmes is already exceeding the capacity of the building.
“I have had several meetings with the committee of the club and we are exploring the possibility of purchasing the land the club stands on via a community mortgage and then building a community hub to serve the local area.
“It is early days and the land purchase is only one avenue we are investigating to ensure the continued growth of this vital community resource.”