YOUNG boxers aim to be kings of the ring after winning a knockout grant of almost £6,000.
Houghton and District Fitness and Youth Boxing Club has been given the cash by the People’s Health Trust, leaving bosses delighted they will able to continue with valuable work in the town.
The club, which has 20 junior and 25 senior members, has been credited in recent years with keeping children in the area off the streets, lowering the risk of antisocial behaviour.
Now the money will help staff at the club to deliver a year-long project called Removing the Barriers, which encourages youngsters to take up boxing, as well as box competitively.
Children from Newbottle, Fence Houses, Shiney Row and East Rainton use the club with the project providing adequate equipment, training kit and transport costs.
Coach Ken Allen, who works with youngsters at the club at a gym in Newbottle Street, welcomed the cash injection.
“It’s going to be a great help for the club,” he said. “It’ll give us a hand with overnight stays when we take the children to competitions in other parts of the country, because you can only imagine how much the costs are to do those sort of things.”
The club also works to raise the self-esteem of its members so they can strive to achieve their full potential.
Club fund-raiser Diane Major said: “It’s fantastic that we have been awarded funding for our Removing the Barriers project in Houghton.
“It will enable us to reach children and young people that are most at risk of becoming involved in antisocial or risk-related behaviour. It is a great opportunity for them to improve their fitness and socialise.”
The grant was through HealthRespect, a community interest company which helps to raise money to balance out health inequalities on Wearside and the rest of the North East.
Director Chris Lunn said: “We are delighted that money raised by HealthRespect has been awarded by People’s Health Trust to such a fantastic project. It opens up sporting opportunities for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the local area.”