Bridgnorth boxers will put fitness to the test
Members of a Shropshire boxing club are hoping their fitness will aid them on a 50-mile fundraiser to tackle accessibility issues arising as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers of Bridgnorth Boxing Academy will traverse the paths beside a canal network next month and hope to raise a fund of at least £500 to support budding young athletes who may not have the means to attend sessions.
Sean Powell, who runs the academy, said extra safety measures which will have to be put in place due to the Covid-19 crisis may act as an extra barrier in the way of youngsters wanting to attend classes.
In response, Sean is set for an early 5am start in Stafford to use the canal network to travel 50 miles to Stourport with fellow club members on August 15.
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He said: "We're foreseeing that in the near future most, if not all, people will have to have their own gloves, helmets, towels and other equipment needed to box, rather than share.
"We're fundraising to get a pot of money that young people can use if they struggle to access the club.
"We'll buy a small amount of equipment to keep - two or three pairs of gloves in different sizes for example - and that means people that might not be able to have all their own equipment won't be excluded.
"I've worked with a lot of young people and I've seen youngsters come to a session, and then not attend for another three or four weeks because they just aren't in the position to do so financially."
Boxing has a number of recognised health benefits both physically and mentally, and the club also intends to use its funds to provide free sessions to young people with referrals.
Sean said: "We also want to use the money for people that, for example, have been referred to us by a school.
"We would then be able to give sessions to those who could benefit for free, so there's no barriers to accessing the club.
"Particularly after the coronavirus pandemic, I think there will be lots of people keen to get back into sport and the social aspect of it, but at the same time a lot of added pressure which could make this hard to do."
The group undertaking the 50-mile fundraiser are hoping to complete it within 14 hours.
To donate to the cause, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bridgnorthboxing
For more information on attending the club, which is now offering one-to-one training and outdoor circuits before returning to its base on August 17, contact email@example.com