Former World Champion Gavin officially opens new Herefordshire club
February 25, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
Bromyard Boxing Club celebrated its official opening on Saturday (12thJanuary), with the town’s mayor Roger Page and former World Amateur Boxing Champion Frankie Gavin cutting the ribbon.
The Herefordshire-based club was a hive of activity as a large crowd gathered to mark the occasion.
It is being operated by husband and wife team Neil and Stacey Haycock who themselves reside in Bromyard, a picturesque market town in the heart of the countryside.
Neil had identified that there was very little opportunity for the young people within the area to gather in a safe space and enjoy social and recreational time.
“There has been a lack of facilities in the area for some time now, and Stacey and I were fed up of hearing how the local young people were just hanging about on the streets, so we decided to do something about it,” he said.
Stacey added: “People were telling us it wouldn’t work, but from the moment we opened our doors we have been absolutely stacked out and at this rate we will soon need bigger premises to cater for the youngsters on our waiting list.”
Although the club has been operating successfully since October last year, the club’s committee decided its popularity warranted an official opening.
Local Police Community Support Officer Sue Berrett attended the ceremony and has witnessed the positive impact the club has made.
“The work Neil and Stacey are doing here is tremendous,” she said. “The club is engaging with young people from all over the area and they are being given a positive outlet to gather together and release some energy.
“The club has a tremendous group of volunteers running its committee and among its coaching staff. The boxing club is becoming a vital community resource for the area.”
England Boxing Club Support Officer for the Midlands Region, Mick Maguire, was equally impressed with the opening and the turnout.
He said: “It was wonderful to see such a big crowd supporting the club. I have been working alongside Neil and Stacey since they first contacted me with the idea back in September last year and it is incredible how much they have achieved in that short space of time.
“I can’t stress how hard the entire committee of the club has worked to get up and running, and the support they have been given by the local police and the town’s mayor has been brilliant.
“It was also fantastic to see one of our greatest ever amateur boxers, Frankie Gavin, give up his time to assist a new club and help them grow their profile in the area.”
Both Neil and Stacey were keen to thank Vince McNally, who runs the South Wye Boxing Academy 15 miles away in Hereford.
“Vince has donated time and equipment in helping us to get the club up and running,” said Stacey.
“It is amazing how helpful Vince and everyone at his club have been in pushing us forward. It really has made us understand and believe in the strength of community and co-operation that exists within the boxing community.”
Details for attending the club can be found on this Facebook link.