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Ashton Albion Amateur Boxing Club needs you in its corner for next round
Friday 1st March 2019 @ 11:17 by Lee Wild
Ashton News

Work is well underway in the heart of Ashton to transform a former printers into a new boxing gym.

Ashton Albion Amateur Boxing Club received the news back in January that they would need to find new premises after losing their home of 25 years.

Head of the club Wayne Heywood put out an appeal for any landlords with vacant properties to get in touch and his prayers were quickly answered by Ashton-based businessman Mike Craven.

He’s provided the club with a new home close to IKEA in the centre of Ashton, where Wayne and his team of dedicated coaches will be able to continue their work with the youth of Tameside.

The team has been hard at work clearing the site of rubbish, preparing it to be turned into a gym and ring that can train the fighters of tomorrow.

Wayne said: “I’d say we’ve broken its back. I think we’ve probably still got about four skip loads to clear, but we’re nearly there now.

“Once it’s clear we can start hitting it really.”

Once the rubble is removed, Wayne says he’s got a team of expert tradesmen ready to help him transform the space.

R&M Electrical Limited have kindly offered to help rewire the entire space. 

“Jim Newall has kindly turned round and said that once it’s all cleared he’ll come in and totally rewire it for us. He’ll put our smoke alarms and fire alarms in,” said Wayne.

It’s a huge help for the club which relies on the goodwill of the public to run the service. 

Wayne and the club have seen hundreds of children over the years, keeping them off the streets and channelling their energy into competition and training.

He’s had plenty of offers of help but is always looking for assistance. 

He added: “I’ve had plenty of offers, but the crunch is going to come once it’s empty and I say right are we ready for this now?

“We’ve got to beg, steal and borrow basically because I’m still trying to raise the funds. I think we’ve raised a couple of grand up to now so we’ve only got 23 to go!”

The challenge now is to find local businesses that can provide building materials for free or at a reduced rate in exchange for sponsorship in the gym. 

Wayne said: “I’m looking for local building suppliers, firms, supermarkets, whatever now to see if they can donate anything. Please get in touch and see what you can do for us.

“I’ve got loads of ideas. In the building itself I’ve got full complete walls that have no windows in so I was thinking of using that space as sort of an advertising points for those that have helped me. A wall of thanks sort of thing.”

Even after losing their home of 25 years, Wayne is hopeful about the club’s future. 

He says the new space will be an improvement on Albion Mill. 

“I’ve been in the warehouse there for 25 years and never had to do anything. But I think it’s turning out to be a move for the better because the new premises has got massive potential.

“It’s ideal because it’s all on one floor so we can keep an eye on people. I’m looking to put on more classes believe it or not because there’s so much potential there.”