Hundreds of young boxers in Shropshire have been left in limbo after their club was attacked by arsonists, causing £15,000 of damage.
Bosses of the Shrewsbury Amateur Boxing Club say they fear for its future after yesterday’s fire which ripped through the building and destroyed equipment. Graham Robb, who runs the John Davies Boxing Centre on Smithfield Road, said the attack left some members in tears.
Mr Robb said he was due to meet with Shropshire Council chiefs about the situation but admitted he was at a loss about the impact it would have on the group which was set up 52 years ago.
He said: “We’re all volunteers trying to keep the kids off the streets and I could actually understand a break-in in this day and age but to burn it down as well is downright destructive.
“We have over 250 members – some as young as five – and some of them have been on the telephone to me in tears.
“We have been at this site for the past ten years and I just don’t know why somebody would do this.”
He added: “We’re worried now about the long-term effect this will have on the club. Will parents be scared to bring their kids back into boxing?
“If any existing members want to keep up to date with what is happening then I urge them to visit our Facebook page where we will keep people updated.”
The blaze started at about midnight on Sunday and officers from West Mercia Police are now scouring CCTV footage to try and trace the offenders, who made off from the scene with a flat screen television.
Up to 10 firefighters for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service battled the fire for more than 30 minutes as flames engulfed the boxing club.
Detectives investigating the fire have appealed for witnesses to come forward and urged them to call Shrewsbury police station on the non emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.