Tackling Inequalities Fund: How we have benefited – St Ives Bay ABC

November 10, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny


Club Coach Carl Thomas explains how a Sport England-funded grant Tackling Inequalities Fund grant has enabled the Cornish club to make themselves COVID-ready for in between government lockdowns.


Applying for Tackling Inequalities Funding

We applied when Richard Powers, our regional Club Support Officer, called to ask how the club was coping financially over the first lockdown.

He informed me that we were eligible to apply for support through this funding stream and supported the club to complete the necessary forms.

It was great to be kept informed about funding opportunities and took away the stress of having to locate other avenues, which can prove to be both time consuming and unproductive.

Giving parents confidence

The funding has allowed us to purchase a fogging machine which will ensure that our gym and equipment are kept as hygienic as possible.

Furthermore, knowing that the gym is cleaned to a high standard gives confidence to parents, knowing that their children are training in a safe environment.

We have also purchased new equipment that has enabled us to set out individual, socially distanced, work stations within the gym. The new equipment is easily cleansed and can also be used outdoors should the need for further closure of gyms occur.

We are extremely grateful for the opportunity offered to our club through obtaining this funding: the new equipment will help us to attract new users, whilst further developing the skills of our existing members.

The funding enabled us to purchase sanitising equipment and hand gels for the use of all members, whilst also providing enough equipment to offer a variety of stations that ensure all users remain motivated and challenged during our sessions.

More about St Ives Bay ABC

We are a small club that was set up 12 years ago following consultations between the Cornwall and Devon Constabulary and the local community.

We have a wide range of members that includes competitive boxers, keep fitters and those looking to learn new skills. We are a fully inclusive club and pride ourselves on being able to offer a positive, safe and welcoming environment to all.

Throughout the years we have had some boxers that have reached the final stages of national competitions and achieved many club-level successes.

Personally, I feel our greatest achievement has been the positive feedback that we have received from members, past and present, about the positive influence that the club and the sport has had on their lives outside of the gym.

Currently, we share a rented premises but are working towards locating our own space to rent. This will enable us to open seven days a week and allow us to positively engage with a higher number of people.

Our coaching team is expanding and this can only help improve the number and the quality of the sessions we offer to our community.

The local community impact

As mentioned previously, we offer a warm welcome to all and believe that our club is well thought of within the locality. We hope to build on this further, by maintaining our links with local schools and the local constabulary, when we move into our own full-time premises.

Our club offers a safe and healthy opportunity to exercise, to all members of our community at a low cost.

Importantly, we will also travel anywhere in the country, at no expense to our boxers, in order for them to compete and gain valuable experience. Coming from an area of low socioeconomic status, these experiences can be life-changing to our young people.

A big family

Our club is like a big family and the positivity and support shown by current members towards new members is always amazing to witness.

The camaraderie that develops when people are training together in our sport is always great to see: lifelong friendships and respect are created through our clubs.

Furthermore, it isn’t only about creating champions but about the massively positive impact it has on people’s life chances. The physical and mental skills developed through boxing and boxing training are transferable to all aspects of life and the feedback we have received over the years confirms the difference our club and the sport have made to people’s lives.

As we continue to build our club we hope that, through boxing, we can continue to support our members and the community by offering more and varied sessions.

About the Tackling Inequalities Fund

Roman Boxing Gym is one of more than 65 clubs in some of the country’s most deprived communities to which England Boxing has distributed £150,000 from the Tackling Inequalities Fund, funded by Sport England. All clubs given grants had either received no other funding, or were in a critical situation where other funds had been exhausted.

You can find out more by clicking here, or contact the England Boxing Club Support Officer in your region.

Some images are pre COVID-19.