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Boxers going the distance

By Nick Elwell | Grassroots | Published:

Boxers from Priory Park BC have been hitting the streets rather than pads and bags.

Members from Priory Park Boxing Club have been able to take part in some outdoor sessions next to their Dudley base

The club’s members have responded in style to a challenge set by head coach Paul Gough.

They were set a target of covering 1,500km to help raise funds for the Dudley-based club during the coronavirus lockdown.

And they have more than proved up to that task, as Gough explains.

“They have been out running and cycling to help stay fit and in May we set them a challenge of seeing how far they could go,” he said.

“We set them a target of 1,500km and made it into a fundraiser. They hit that in next to no time and kept going.

“And so far they have travelled the equivalent distance of from here in Dudley to Athens.

“The funds we raise will be used to help occupy the younger members in the six-week holidays.

“We have training and sessions for them in the evening, but we also plan things for them during the day to keep them active.”

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The power of social media kept club members in touch during the lockdown but now restrictions have been relaxed, Gough and his coaches are able to set up some outdoor sessions.

“We set the kids various challenges to do through social media and they have been posting videos of themselves taking them on,” added Gough, who has used some free time away from the ring to paint the gym and changing rooms.

“One of the challenges was to set up an eating plan and then the parents got involved helping the youngsters cook them.

“We had planned to do a spar-athon, with ex-pros coming into to spar with the kids and their parents.

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“But obviously that had to be put on hold.

“But at least we are able to start doing things outside the gym now, obviously while adhering to social distancing.

“We have five or six coaches who are doing stuff and we are getting the parents involved as well.

“The coaches can’t hold the pads at the moment, but people from the same household can.

“And we are doing foot drills and things like that. It’s working really well.

“Sport England guidelines have stated that they are looking at the mid-August for a possible return to the gym, but with reduced numbers.

“We are keeping things ticking over and hopefully come September we can get back to somewhere near normality.”

The lockdown means the club have no cash coming in at the moment, but Gough has no fears for the future.

“We are not charging for the outdoor sessions and at the moment we have no money coming in,” he said. “Sport England have helped with funding and they are pretty much covering our bills.

“The club has stalled for a few months but it isn’t in any danger financially.”

Nick Elwell

By Nick Elwell
Grassroots Sports Editor

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