Club case study: Fusion aren’t fazed as expansion project gathers pace
January 19, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny
Undeterred by the Covid-19 Pandemic, Grimsby’s Fusion Boxing Club are continuing to strategically plan for their future with an ambitious four-phase development plan now around halfway to completion.
Back in 2021, the East Midlands club were delighted to be recipients of more than £140,000 in grant funding from Power to Change and Sport England, allowing them to build an extension to the gym and cater for more boxers and outreach projects within their local community.
Now that this work is complete, Head Coach Wayne Bloy – who has been in charge since 2013 and already overseen a full renovation of the premises, from dilapidated youth club to thriving boxing gym – is keen to push forward with the next phases of his ambitious club development plan.
“Phase one, as I refer to it, was to build the extension and we’ve seen a huge increase in participation since the work was completed,” said Bloy, a former professional boxer who challenged for both the British and Commonwealth titles.
“The extra floor space has enabled us to install a second ring, with the option of a third if we utilise our pop-up ring. As a result, we’ve been able to host a lot more sparring with local clubs and we’ve recently been signed off as an approved England Boxing Coach Education Centre.
“Speaking more broadly, it’s seen a huge increase in the number of people from the local community coming through our doors – for a variety of different sessions.
“The plan now is to focus on phases two and three of our expansion project, with the development, growth and promotion of our new community rooms – and the associated activities we can host from them.”
The community rooms cost around £60,000 to complete and were funded by both the NHS and FCC Communities Foundation.
These fully-refurbished spaces enabled the club to act as a community food bank during lockdown, as well as hosting parent toddler groups, adult education classes, England Boxing courses and IT classes for elderly residents.
Bloy added: “We’re also proud that we’ve just become an England Boxing Inclusive Hub, one of 19 across the country.
“The extra space afforded to us will really help us to be able to be a lot more inclusive for people with physical disabilities – especially those that use wheelchairs.”
With a view to the future, the club have just been granted planning permission for a third phase of improvement works – this time in the form of a fitness suite extension – which will require around £150,000 of funding to complete.
Once finished, the club will be in a position to offer discounted gym memberships to the local community, enabling residents to live fitter, healthier lives, with all the added social benefits a boxing club possesses.
The final piece of the puzzle (phase four) and end objective is to secure and redevelop several other closely situated facilities, including a block of largely unused local authority changing rooms, a 3G pitch and the local athletics club.
But, for now, the boxing remains the key priority, with work continuing apace.
The club’s hugely popular Pop-Up Boxing project continues to go from strength to strength, with sessions, delivered in partnership with Young & Safe, running two nights of the week in West Marsh and Nunsthorpe (both IMD1). Plans are also in place to add an extra night in Immingham.
“It really is a pleasure to spend time with a boxing club that has such a clear strategic vision for the future”, said Alex Le Guevel, England Boxing’s Club Support Officer for the East Midlands and Eastern Counties, after a recent visit.
“It’s a testament to the club that alongside all of these wonderful capital developments, Fusion continues to deliver meaningful outreach work for their local community.
“Congratulations to Wayne and the entire Fusion team – keep up the great work!”
To stay up to date with all of the latest developments at Fusion Boxing, please, visit their website by clicking here.