A POPULAR boxing club which built its foundations in the heart of a South Tyneside community has finally returned home.
For the past two years, Horsley Hill Boxing Club has been running out of a temporary base at Brinkburn Community Centre, in McAnany Avenue, South Shields.
The club had been forced to relocate while work to build a new community hub on the site of the former Horsley Hill Community Centre, in Marsden Road, was carried out.
During that time there were concerns that the club – which has about 50 members aged from 10 upwards – would not be able to return to the neighbourhood where it had operated for more than 40 years.
Coaches were told they would not be able to have a permanent boxing ring in any new base, and they would have to remove equipment after each session as other groups would be sharing gym space.
However, after continuing discussions with the council, club officials say they are now “back where they belong” after holding an open day at their new home, Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre.
Saturday’s event was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside. Coun Fay Cunningham and Stella Matthewson.
Coach Steve Winter, said: “Horsley Hill is where the club belongs and it’s great we have finally been able to return.
“The concerns we had regarding the boxing ring have all been ironed out with the council.
“The open day couldn’t have gone any better.
“We invited the parents in to watch the boxers having their training session and we are all really looking forward to a new era for the club.”
On Saturday, boxers from the club will take part in a sponsored press-up in memory of former member Grant Adams, who died after a tragic accident in his home in South Frederick Street, South Shields, last month.
They aim to do 10,000 press-ups in two hours to raise money for the 17-year-old’s unborn baby daughter, who he and his girlfriend Sharna Gardner had already named Rhkiya Mae.
The event will start at 10am and anyone who would like to join them can do so on the day by making a donation.
The club is being supported in their endeavours by boxers from Harton and Westoe boxing club in South Shields, and Gateshead clubs Leam Lane and Dunston and Teams.