Packing a punch with funding help

Coun Susan Davey with the Elite Boxing Team at the Club including three nations Gold Medallist Savannah Stubley (front row, third from right).
Coun Susan Davey with the Elite Boxing Team at the Club including three nations Gold Medallist Savannah Stubley (front row, third from right).

Improvements to a boxing club have packed a punch after a local councillor stepped in with funding.

The Empire School of Boxing, in Cowpen Road, Blyth, has had the gym’s electrics rewired and a new perimeter wall built after local ward councillor Susan Davey stepped in with funding from her small schemes grant.

The club has been run for many years by Margaret and Les Welsh, himself a county council employee who works at Ashington Town Hall.

Coun Davey, who represents Cowpen ward, said: “I am proud to be able to help the Empire School of Boxing as a councillor as they keep as many as 200 local young people off the streets each week.

“The skill of Les and Margaret Welsh and the boxing coaches at the club in helping young people to find self-respect, self-awareness and develop pride in their community is second to none.

“Every youngster who comes in contact with this team becomes a better person and can contribute to society with pride.”

Les opened the boxing club 25 years ago on the site of an old Catholic school and has seen it produce numerous champions over the years.

Les said: “What’s more important though is that we’ve produced champions of life – giving thousands of young people discipline and direction which has stood them in good stead in their later years.”

“This funding has been an absolute godsend and has enabled me and my team to focus on what we do best – helping local youngsters and the community.”

“We were delighted when Susan Davey came forward with her funding – as soon as she realised we needed help she was there.”