New gym for Runcorn ABC to mark coming out of lockdown
March 16, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny
Runcorn ABC is pulling no punches on its return following the Coronavirus lockdown – having set up a completely new and refurbished gym.
The Merseyside and Cheshire club took the decision to move from its previous home on the Murdishaw Estate to a new more central and bigger location in the Halton Shopping Centre (Runcorn Shopping City) Complex five weeks ago.
Not only will that allow for supply to keep up with demand, but it will also make it much easier for people all over the town to access the facilities, rather than those in just one area.
The new venue will also allow space to offer other combat sports as well as the new AFA Boxing Academy, which will help 16 to 19-year-olds gain a fitness-based qualification.
“The new building is actually about seven times as big as the old one – it’s huge – and will give us ample space to cater for the demand and the extra we may now get with being more centrally located,” said Head Coach Darren O’Sullivan.
“We were almost becoming victims of our own success in engaging with the community and had outgrown our facilities, which is why we decided to make the move, even though we knew it would mean some hard work in the short-term.
“Because we are not-for-profit and run by volunteers, we knew it was what we needed to do because it is the club’s ethos to never turn people away, especially young people.
“I’ve postponed my wedding to get this done, which shows you how much means to me and us as a club, but we are confident now we will get things finished for the scheduled reopening of gyms on 12th April.”
The club’s history dates back until at least 1934 if not earlier, and before the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic was open six days a week, catering for around 150 men, women, boys and girls a week across a range of sessions.
While the club also has 18 carded boxers, community is as important as competition to O’Sullivan and his fellow volunteer coaches.
He added: “We like to have a champion as much as the next club, but if we are helping the young people who walk through our doors with their boxing and life in general, then we are happy.
“The boxing will still take place six days a week, but the building will now be open seven days a week with the other sports that will be hosted here too.
“We now have a 10-year lease and we hope this will be our home for a long time to come.”
The club has financed the moved itself, but are now looking for sponsors to help sustain efforts into the future.
If you can help, are interested in joining as a boxer or can offer time to help as a volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07552 873262.
Main pic pre Covid-19