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Archive - Thursday, 12 April 2012
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Leys boxers could have new home at last
A BOXING club desperately searching for a new home in Blackbird Leys may have found its saviour, in the unlikely form of a children’s club.
The Blackbird Leys Amateur Boxing Club has been based in an upstairs room at the community centre for decades but coaches say they need more space for the ever-expanding club.
After an appeal in the Oxford Mail, the owners of the iKidz Activity Club at the Ozone Leisure Park say they might have the solution.
Managing director Rachael Pountney said: “We have 16,000 sq feet of space for us to use. Downstairs we have our soft play centre and then upstairs we have a dance studio, a big sports hall and then another lot of space.
“It would definitely be big enough for a boxing ring.”
The boxing club trains dozens of young men and women four times a week.
At the moment the club is forced to dismantle its ring and other equipment at the end of each session.
Coaches have scoured the area for a suitable building, but to no avail.
Earlier this week, Oxford University boxing coach and former Blackbird Leys resident Des Brackett added his name to people behind the campaign.
Ms Pountney said: “Obviously we need to look into this all a lot more. We have child protection issues and things like that to sort out.
“But we do feel this would be ideal. They would be free to use the space as they liked and the boxing ring could stay up for as long as they liked.
“We’d love the chance to help a local club.”
Club coach Tony Gibson said: “It sounds perfect, as it is in the Leys. Obviously we have to look at it, but it’s good news.”
The two parties are now setting up a meeting to discuss the plans.