Operating from the basement of a butcher’s shop in Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre had served WBC Fit Club well for many years. “It was a good old fashioned boxing gym, cheap, no frills, and everyone loved the place. But unless you knew about us, you wouldn’t know we were there,” says Paul Webb, instructor and founder of the community boxing club.
Paul set up WBC Fit Club in 2009 and provides children’s boxing classes to encourage young people to take up the sport, keep fit and active and in turn help curb anti-social behaviour.
Paul was on the look out for larger premises when the invitation to teach kids at a local secondary school came knocking. “In passing I mentioned to the principal and vice principal at Grace Academy that I was searching for larger and more accessible premises and within 48 hours we’d worked out an affordable package. Best of all we could move without putting up our prices which I didn’t want to do”
Although Grace Academy has a gym, and Paul had taken students there in the past for fun days, demonstrations and gradings, there was still the issue of raising funds for a new boxing ring.
“We decided to hold a sparathon where the kids sparred professional boxers. The deputy principal Mr Spina was very hands on! He sparred pro boxers including two time world kick boxing champion Waine Turner and helped us with one of our boxing shows.
“We held our year end grading and presentations at Grace Academy, just before Christmas. Right at the end we announced to parents and our students that the gym we were in was now our new home. Everyone was over the moon.
“The move means that we have more space, better changing facilities, and easy access. But best of all, somewhere to hold our own boxing shows. It also means that the Grace Academy students have somewhere to continue their training after school.
“This partnership is going to grow. I strongly believe that it will benefit my classes/programme, the school and most importantly, the local community. We have exciting times ahead.”
To find out more about WBC Fit Club visit www.wbcfitclub.co.uk