Club ‘would be a bonus for town’

A NEW boxing club in Alnwick would be beneficial to youngsters in the area, says the driving force behind the group, ahead of a public meeting next week.

Gary Pattinson is looking to kick-start the Alnwick Amateur Boxing Club, which would cater for all ages, abilities and genders.

Having been involved with the sport for close to three decades, the 41-year-old from the town’s Alwynside believes the organisation would bring a positive influence, especially for youths.

“So much good comes from boxing and this facility will provide a positive outlet, especially for the children and young people of the area,” he said.

“The boxing club will be able to offer a place where they can learn values of application, focus and discipline as well as being able to improve general health.”

“I have been involved with boxing for nearly 30 years and I want to put something back into it and do something in the community.”

A public meeting is being held at Alnwick North Community Centre, on Howling Lane, on Tuesday, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, to gauge interest, attract recruits and helpers, and to give people more information.

Taster sessions are expected to follow at a later date.

A planning application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council to change the use of the town’s St Thomas’ Close workshops, turning them into a suitable club venue.

“It is an ideal location and I would like to use it in a positive way for the community,” added Gary, who used to box in the Army and for highly-regarded local boxing coach Keith MacDonald.

The group has attracted support, including from Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle, Alnwick Town Council, and North Country Leisure (NCL).

Coun Castle, who used to box in Amble, has pledged money towards the cause through his members’ small schemes budget.

“I think it is something that Alnwick has lacked for decades and it would be good for the town,” he said.

“It is a very good way of teaching youngsters discipline through a well-established and well-regulated activity. I am delighted to hear about it.”

Vic Brady, community sports manager at NCL, described the club as a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for people in the area.

For more information, contact Gary by emailing gary.pattinson2@btinternet.com or by calling 07738 364349.