Emotional opening for Bideford Boxing Club’s new home
PUBLISHED: 12:06 20 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:07 20 January 2014
£200,000 project at the Pollyfield Centre complete
Bideford Boxing Club’s new £200,000 home at the Pollyfield Centre was given a grand opening this week.
The amateur boxing club opened the doors to its new home on Saturday with a buffet offering members of the public the chance to look around.
In an emotional ceremony, Jeff Facey, Development Officer and Dick Kersey, Head Trainer and Secretary, cut the ribbon in front of around 100 invited guests and press, marking the start of a new era for the popular local club.
Ben Sears, South West Development Officer for the Amateur Boxing Association, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a great turn out and a testament to the hard work put in by people like Jeff to make this happen. It hasn’t been easy but we can all see the fruits of his labours here today.”
The club worked hard to raise funds for the project, securing a £90,000 grant from Olympic legacy initiative Sport England Inspired Facilities.
Torridge District Council also allocated £80,000 of section 106 community funding to the building, with Bideford Bridge Trust, Bideford Town Council, and Bideford Boxing Club all contributing to the overall total.
Jeff Facey said: “Bideford Amateur Boxing Club, formed in 1958, has been a successful club ever since. We’ve produced some terrific boxers over the years. We help instil in young people respect, discipline and we can even help with their education.
“We’re working with the community, with local schools, with other sports clubs and we hope that East-the-Water will become a centre of sports excellence. This new building has shown that if you all work together, it’s amazing what you can achieve.
“We all have dreams, and having our own established building that we can call home, is ours.”
Building work was started by TCi constructors last July – a year after funding was announced – and the new boxing and fitness gym is now finally up and running.
Council leader Phillip Collins said: “Young people are our future, we need to support them and this project is a very positive step forward. I am delighted it has progressed to completion.”
And Councillor Mervyn Langmead, Ward Member for East-the-Water, was equally positive about the development.
“The Club is a very well used community resource run by volunteer coaches and I am delighted to see this worthwhile initiative showing Torridge and other local and national bodies all pulling together to support the local community,” he said.