Meet the boxer carrying on his family's legacy in Market Drayton
When Sonny & Eddie’s Boxing Club opened its doors, it marked the start of a new chapter in a family’s proud history.
British Army veteran Kieran Tennant comes from a long line of boxers spanning five generations.
His grandfather Edward ‘Eddie’ McGarry was not only a successful amateur but also an acclaimed coach, training more than 80 national and international champions.
Now Kieran, who served in the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment for six years, based in Market Drayton, is continuing in his late grandfather’s footsteps.
“I came out of the Army five months ago and when I was in the process of leaving, I was looking at my options.
“I come from a five-generation fighting family. My grandad died last year and I decided I could carry on our boxing legacy and pass it down to the next generations,” says the 26-year-old, who runs the club with his wife Alexandra.
Sonny & Eddie’s, which is named in honour of the couple’s two-year-old son Sonny and Kieran’s grandfather, is open 14 hours a day, seven days a week.
The club offers a range of classes tailored to all abilities with separate classes for men, women, families and children as well as open boxing sessions for anyone who wants to train at their own pace and amateur squad sessions for boxers wanting to compete in amateur events.
There is also one-to-one or small group coaching available with experienced trainers.
“The idea is that there is something for everyone. We know that there are men who don’t want to train with women and women who don’t want to train with men,” says Kieran.
Alexandra, who is passionate about sport and fitness, teaches the classes for under-12s and the Fighting Mums sessions for women who want to learn to punch, kick, and block, while improving their fitness and flexibility.
“Alexandra is very interested in strength, conditioning and nutrition,” says Kieran.
Their Dad Bods class is designed for men who want to improve their fitness, learn the basics of boxing and work on their cardio and strength while having fun with like-minded people.
As well as coaching potential future champions and inspiring people to improve their fitness, Kieran wants the club to play its part in keeping children and young people off the streets and out of trouble. Since opening the club around four months ago, he has already witnessed the positive effect the discipline, training and routine of boxing can have on youngsters who are struggling at school.
“Knife crime is becoming more common and it’s a big concern for a lot of parents. Boxing is a way of getting kids off the streets and on a better path. It teaches self-control, discipline and gives them a positive way to channel their energy whilst having fun.
“We also try to help them to understand how important school is and that for any kind of job you need to have a quality education,” says Kieran.
During his own boxing career, Kieran competed in both amateur and white-collar fights before joining the armed forces.
He continued to box while serving in the army and is now making the transition from being an amateur to becoming a professional with his first fight due to take place on March 30.
Kieran says his military experience has given him the confidence to share his passion for the sport with others.
“I want to inspire more people to get involved and chase their goals and aspirations." The couple have been delighted by the community’s response to the club and the positive feedback they have received from members of all ages.
“It’s kind of like one big family and I didn’t expect that to happen so quickly. It’s been fantastic,” says Kieran.
Sonny & Eddie’s Boxing Club is based on Tern Valley Business Park. Visit sonnyandeddiesboxingclub.co.uk.