Sunderland boxing club which keeps kids off the streets and helps fight knife crime facing closure

Boxing club desperately needs funding

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Sunderland Golden Gloves ABC could close if funding is not found - and soon.Sunderland Golden Gloves ABC could close if funding is not found - and soon.
Sunderland Golden Gloves ABC could close if funding is not found - and soon.

A boxing club, which is says it is tackling knife crime and keeping youngsters gainfully occupied, could soon see 'the shutters come down' for good if it doesn't receive more funding.

At its Castletown gym Sunderland Golden Gloves ABC trains 40 male and female boxers between the ages of six and 24, some have special educational needs (SEN).

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The club opened in 2021 after a grant from Sunderland City Council's Castle ward enabled enabled the purchase its much-cherished ring, then later two punchbags.

Members pay £3 subs per week, but this is not enough to sustain the place with rent to pay other bills to follow.

Although the club says everyone agrees that youngsters roaming the streets is in no one's interests, it has been denied further funding by several bodies.

Those running the club say the situation is grim and are desperately seeking funding; hopefully from sponsorship or other donations.

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The club has four trainers including Richie Dunn, a project manager and his wife Maxine, a nurse. Despite their full-time jobs they are passionate about training and helping youngsters.

Richie told the Echo: "I've applied to our governing body England Boxing; we pay to be affiliated. I've applied twice to Sport England too, who refused.

"I've also applied to Northumbria Police because of the knife crime round here. We run a Gloves Up, Knives Down campaign.

"Every funding we apply for, we just get knocked back.

"We're trying to keep 40 kids off the streets and give them the life skills, respect and discipline they'll need to get a job and so on - but it's getting harder.

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"All the parents have dug deep, running raffles and much more. But there's got to be a wider spectrum than just in-house funding."

"We've managed to keep afloat since 2021 through a lot of hard work. But it won't be long before the shutters come down and there'll be no club.

"The kids don't get to go our sparring. We're training them to be boxers, but they're not getting the full extent of the boxing journey."

Any interested sponsors, or offering any support, can contact the club through its Facebook page.

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