Bideford Boxing Club was treated to a special occasion recently, as they received a visit from former Southern Area bantamweight title holder Mark Goult and his family.
On Tuesday evening, Mark met boxers from the carded and beginners boxing sessions, he signed autographs and his parents Cliff and Jackie Goult brought his belt along for the boxers to hold and perhaps dream about their own futures in the sport.
Mark is well known and respected in the boxing fraternity, and is an Ambassador for the Ringside Charitable Trust. Mark had to retire shortly after winning his belt due to suffering a brain haemorrhage, which cut his career short.
He has since won multiple awards for bravery and had an audience with HRH Prince Charles, who shared his love of boxing with Mark and his family. During his visit in North Devon, Mark has been staying in Westward Ho! at Westward Living.
This local family-run business are big supporters of the club and have donated accommodation to the Ringside Charitable Trust in their award-winning self-catering cottages in Westward Ho! to enable retired boxers to visit the area for much needed rest, care and relaxation, whilst also inspiring the Bideford boxers.
The Ringside Charitable Trust has been set up to raise funds to establish a thirty-six-bedroom residential care facility for ex-boxers who have no means to support themselves at the end of their career.
Over recent years, Bideford Boxing club has forged a close relationship with the Ringside Charitable Trust and has welcomed its Ambassadors to home shows and club visits, including former WBC light-heavyweight, European, British and Commonwealth title holder John Conteh MBE the globally respected trainer and member of the Oliver Family – Johnny Oliver.
Under the direction of Rich Grigg, Dick Kersey and Geoff Facey, the club is now well and truly on the map and is attracting investment from local businesses who can see the value in the inclusive work that Bideford ABC is doing for the community. After all the struggles of the past two Covid years, boxing is very much on the rise again.
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