Community boxing club in fight to find new home and help 'keep kids off the street'

A Walsall boxing club is making a desperate appeal for help in finding new premises after learning it must find £18,000 to meet the annual lease on its existing headquarters.

Terry Leonard at Pleck Amateur Boxing Club, which has been told to leave its premises by September unless it can find £18,000
Terry Leonard at Pleck Amateur Boxing Club, which has been told to leave its premises by September unless it can find £18,000

Pleck Amateur Boxing Club, described as “part of the community”, trains 40 young people, aged eight to 20 years old, at its gym on the Goulds Estate in Fairground Way.

Coach Terry Leonard acknowledged that Goulds is a business but said the club simply does not have the money to pay the lease and urgently needs to find an alternative base.

“We keep kids off the street,” said Terry, 67.

“We may not be the most famous club but we have had great success over the years.

“We hold inter-club contests and have trained Midland, national, Three Nation and England Boxing (formerly Amateur Boxing Association) champions.

“The club is part of the community and must remain so.”

Terry explained that the club charges members just £3 per session and that all the coaches are volunteers.

“The most we take in a week is £200 - none of the coaches are paid,” added Terry.

The club was started by Joe Wood in 1980 in Palfrey and has moved numerous times. Terry’s brother Tony, 70, boxed there under Joe Wood and continues to coach at Pleck ABC to this day.

In 2009 the club signed a ten year lease for £80,000 to cover ten years. Last year they managed to extend the lease with the help of Councillor Anthony Harris who also provided equipment.

Terry said Walsall councillor Mike Bird is holding a meeting on Thursday to try to help the club but a long term solution was needed.

“We need suitable premises for reasonable money,” said Terry.

“We have a 20ft Olympic ring, a 16ft ring and all the gear.

“We need somewhere sizeable with toilets for men and women.”

Pleck ABC, which is open to men, women and children, meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6pm to 8pm and Sundays from 12noon until 2pm.

“We have around 35 members each night, different ages and different nationalities,” said Terry.

“They gain self-respect and self-confidence.”

Anyone able to help is asked to contact Pleck ABC on 07413 402576 or email pleckabc@outlook.com

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