Mark set to spar with Olympic hopeful at new Larches Boxing Club(February 01, 2014)
One time boxer, Mark will be picking up his boxing gloves again on Friday 31st January 2014 when he is due to visit the new Larches & Savick Boxing Club and have the opportunity to spar with local boxer Scott Fitzgerald.
Mark with Scott Fitzgerald
The visit will entail a tour of the new purpose built building which houses a 20ft competition boxing ring and training equipment in the open plan gym. Mark will also meet club Chairman and former boxer Joe Kilshaw and the coaches. The new facility attracted funding from Sport England, the ABA and local building firm Marcus Worthington.
Mark opened the original Phoenix Boxing Club, over eleven years ago, in July 2002. The new building was opened on 12th July last year and replaced the former youth club which was in turn transformed into the Phoenix Boxing Club. The club currently attracts a large number of children from the west parts of the City, particularly from the Larches and Savick areas.
Olympic hopefuls Scott Fitzgerald, National ABA Light-Middleweight champion and Lisa Whiteside, World No. 2, European Gold Medallist and four time ABAE champion, have been training at the club for the last seven years. Scott has recently been signed up to compete in the Commonwealth Games and both have been picked to represent Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
Mark said: ‘I have keenly followed the club at Larches since I first opened it and it’s inspiring to know that we have top class boxers like Scott and Lisa who are on course to rise all the way to the top. It’s encouraging as well for the kids to come in off the streets and train alongside aspiring Olympians. Boxing has certainly had an impact on my life and it taught me respect, discipline, and self-confidence. There’s no doubt the club has had a huge impact in reducing youth crime in the area and should be proud of the being the only club in the country to turn out two members for Team GB’.
Club Chairman, Joe Kilshaw said: ‘I’m looking forward to showing Mark round the new building and we’ll get the punch bags out for him to throw a few punches, because I know he used to box. This gym was always meant to be a community facility and that’s why it’s open for anyone to use. Everyone who comes here always say’s how brilliant it is to train in a gym whilst watching the action in the ring; it’s quite normal to see professionals like Mick ‘The Hammer’ Hall training whilst you’re on the fitness equipment around the edge of the ring.’
The Larches & Savick Boxing Club has 8 qualified instructors and is open to children aged eight and over. The gym facilities are open throughout the week and are open to the general public. The cost of a pay as you go gym session is £3 with discounts for monthly or annual membership. Junior boxing sessions (aged 8-18) are held from 6-7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Friday and are £2.50 per session. Thursday evenings are reserved for women only boxing and are charged at £3 per session. For more information go to: www.larchesandsavickboxing.org.uk