AMATEUR boxers in South Tyneside have taken on the title as charity champions after raising £3,500 in memory of a young fighter.
Grant Adams, 17, lost his fight for life less than 24 hours after suffering horrific throat injuries when he fell into a sunbed at his home in South Frederick Street, South Shields.
Devastated by the tragedy, boxers from Horsley Hill Boxing Club – where Grant trained for the last two years – took on a sponsored push-up challenge to raise cash for his newly-born daughter and girlfriend.
They were joined by fellow boxers from Harton and Westoe, in South Shields, and the Leam Lane and Dunston Boxing Clubs, in Gateshead.
With the help of social networking, the challenge also went global with people taking part in countries around the world, including youngsters in South Korea.
Together they completed 44,000 push-ups in two hours.
Grant’s heartbroken girlfriend, Sharna Gardner, who gave birth to the couple’s daughter Rhkiya-Mae on August 15, visited Horsley Hill Boxing Club, based at Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre, where she was presented with a cheque from coach Steve Winter.
The cash will be split between the Great North Air Ambulance and a trust fund for the couple’s daughter.
Sharna, from The Ridgeway, Cleadon, Park, South Shields, also presented the club with a memorial trophy to say thank you for the support she has received.
She said: “I am so grateful, I really can’t thank everyone enough for all their support. It really is unbelievable.
“It has been hard, since Grant died, but all this has helped make it a little bit easier. Seeing how much he meant to everyone, it’s just so inspiring.
“Rhkiya-Mae is a really good baby. Her dad would have been so proud of her.”
Grant was a member of the Horsley Hill Boxing Club before he died in the freak accident in June after tripping and stumbling into a sunbed at his home.
He suffered horrific throat injuries.
The 17-year-old bricklayer received emergency treatment after the horrific accident on Sunday, June 8.
He was flown to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary by the Great North Air Ambulance helicopter but died the following day.
Mr Winter said: “Grant’s death impacted on the club a lot. He was a popular member, so when the news hit of the tragedy we all wanted to do something to help Sharna and to give something back to the air ambulance as a way of saying thank you for what they done for Grant.
“The press-up challenge started with just our club but then others asked if they could join in and then it went global.
“It was absolutely fantastic – but it was the kids in South Korea which really made it for me. It is something we will definitely be doing year on year for charity as everyone loved it.”
Sharna’s mum Barbara Gardner said: “I would just like to say a great big thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the support the club has given us as a family.”