Boxing club appeals for help to avoid knock out blow
PUBLISHED: 13:40 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:14 22 August 2019
A community boxing club is appealing for help finding new premises to fight off the threat of closure.
Long Stratton Boxing Club could be dealt a knock out blow at the end of the month when it closes it doors due to cost of renting its current premises.
Adam Gigli, who first founded the gym in 2012 and then re-opened it on the Tharston Industrial Estate in Long Stratton last year, said: "Unfortunately at the end of this month we are going to have to come out of the unit we are in. The rent is far too expensive and I can't afford to keep making the difference up at the end of each month out of my own pocket as some weeks I am working my day job for free."
Born in Long Stratton, Mr Gigli boxed in London from the age of 16. Having worked in construction for five years, including on the London 2012 Olympics, he briefly closed the club in 2016 to focus on his career as a ringside cut man, working with professional boxers, before re-opening it due to public demand.
The club is popular with boxers of all ages and is also used by martial arts groups. It has also raised money for charities including East Anglia's Children's Hospices and Bullying UK.
Mr Gigli said: "This is a community run club that I started up by myself primarily for the youngsters of Long Stratton to come and learn and have fun in a controlled environment.
"We train three times a week and we get anywhere from 20 to 30 kids in a session. We also have all ages coming along starting from kids aged five to six to teenagers of 15 or 16. Then we have groups of adults coming in after them as well."
Mr Gigli said he had held initial talks with Long Stratton High School about renovating a derelict building on the school grounds, but is searching for a short term solution.
"Obviously trying to deal with the school and the council it is not a quick turn around job," he said. "In the meantime, we are looking for an alternative place where we can set up base for a bit. We just need enough room for the ring, a few punch bags and some floor space.
"It will be such a shame to close this down, so I'm hoping someone might be able to offer us a lifeline."