Boxers at a grassroots club in Ramsgate are celebrating winning funds for new training kit.
Hornets Boxing Club has received a £250 Team Sport Award from electricity firm, UK Power Networks, for a new boxing bag to practise punches during training.
Coach Gareth Emptage, who works as an overhead electricity linesman, nominated the club for his employer’s award.
Gareth said: “I was very proud to win the award because the club has done so much for me. I was chuffed, it’s nice to give something back. Our head coach has always been there for me and I can’t praise the club enough.
“The gym is so under-rated in terms of the mental and physical health benefits. I may not always like it when I’m training, but the sense of achievement when I’ve finished is incredible.
“Through boxing you gain discipline, fitness and camaraderie. I have found that if I train on my own I don’t push myself as hard as I do when I’m in a group. The rules of boxing are very simple and what you learn in the club we use in the club.
“I have recently stepped up and together with some other volunteer coaches we coach our own group of juniors, who are aged six to ten. I’m really embracing the coaching and should have done it years ago, but I’m ready to commit to it now.”
Head coach, Chris Daley, established the community club and Gareth was one of the first members. They met when Chris taught PE at Gareth’s secondary school.
The club trains on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in Leigh Road, Ramsgate. They run ‘box tots’ for children aged four upwards as well as training sessions for juniors and seniors. Tuesdays and Thursdays are ladies’ nights. Gareth’s partner Ria Verlander, his daughter Lacey, 14, and son Wade, nine, all either help out or train with the club.
Gareth added: “It makes a massive difference to the kids. Times have changed since I was growing up when we were outside playing football and climbing trees. Now it’s all about computers!”
The Team Sport Award scheme is run by UK Power Networks to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and developing sports opportunities. In 2020, more than 60 local sports teams connected to UK Power Networks’ staff benefited from a share in £15,500.
Hornets Boxing Academy is based at 18 Leigh Road in Ramsgate. Find the club on facebook or at website the-hornets.wixsite.com/chrisdaley