A NEW boxing club will soon be packing a punch when it opens its doors in Redditch thanks to an exciting partnership.
Bodyshot Boxing, situated above Omega Tiles & Bathrooms in Millsborough House, is the labour of love of two town residents – Marcus Adkins and Darren Long – who have been quietly working away in creating a vibrant new space for the community to take part in physical activity and socialise whilst enjoying the benefits of exercise and well-being which boxing as a sport or recreation gives its participants.
Local businessman Adkins had been drawn to the sport by his daughter – 13-year-old Maddie – who has been training towards competing within amateur boxing with the help of England Boxing coach Long.
Adkins said: “Watching Maddie develop her confidence and ability under the tutelage of experienced coach Darren got me to thinking of how much boxing could help other young people within the area and so the idea was born for Darren and I to create a community club for all to use.
“It has been a hard slog finding premises and equipping the club to be able to deliver activities for the people of Redditch, but both Darren and I are very proud of the facility we have created.”
Long, a veteran of the sport having had more than 50 contests himself as a young man, has now been coaching for several years and is relishing the chance to make a mark on the area with this brand new club.
“It is a very exciting time for us all,” said Long. “We have already seen the way in which boxing can engage the community in the artwork which appears on the walls inside the gym.”
The artwork he refers to adorns the gym walls and was produced by one of the gym’s prospective members – 15-year-old Mia Wilkinson – a flourishing young artist with talent in abundance.
Adkins said: “Mia has Asperger syndrome and she uses her art as a way of expressing herself. We were delighted when Mia accepted our request to design some art to decorate the gym walls and as you can see the results are tremendous and we cannot thank Mia enough for her contribution to the club.”
England Boxing club support officer Mick Maguire visited the gym and was thrilled with what he witnessed. He said: “The work Marcus and Darren have done is incredible and they are to be congratulated on creating such a vital community space for the people of the area.
“Boxing is a fantastic tool for creating social cohesion and bringing different groups within the community together under one roof.
“I have spoken at length with Marcus and Darren and their plans to expand the club’s activities into broader aspects of community-led work surrounding mental and physical well-being are a delight to hear.
“I wish them every success and I will do all I can on behalf of England Boxing to support the growth of this marvellous new enterprise.
“The artwork undertaken by young Mia is amazing and has already shown how an outlet can be found for young people to express themselves through communities having essential spaces and facilities like Bodyshot Boxing.”
More details are available by emailing the club at firstname.lastname@example.org.