More glory for Lowestoft’s Triple A

PUBLISHED: 13:44 05 November 2010

WHEN Lowestoft’s Anthony Ogogo returned home to the Triple A Boxing Club with a silver medal after his stunning achievements at the Commonwealth Games in India, the young members of the club were bursting with pride as one of their home-grown heroes took the world stage by storm.

Last Saturday, these celebrations intensified when the club’s Charley Davison won a gold medal in France at the European Youth Women’s Championship.

At only 16 years old, Charley was captain of the England team and, like Ogogo, she now has her sights on working towards Olympic selection for 2012.

For a community boxing club like Triple A, such achievements cannot be underestimated – based at St John’s Road in Lowestoft, Triple A is a hard-working local club that has been providing a channel for young people’s energy for over 20 years, often with very few resources and limited financial backing.

“The club was formed because more and more youths were on the streets with nowhere to go and lots of energy to use. With help from friends and parents, the club has grown over the past four years to become the largest club in East Anglia with over 80 members,” explains Peter Down, the club manager.

Often working in some of the UK’s most challenging communities, community boxing clubs can offer a real opportunity to many disengaged young people who enjoy the structured fun and discipline of being part of a successful team.

As Peter says: “Many of our youngsters are dealing with difficult situations at school or home, and they come to the club as a safe and challenging place to achieve something positive that they can feel really proud of.”

The Triple A Boxing Club was set up in 1990 and had an early setback when their original premises were attacked by an arsonist. In their current premises, they have worked hard to establish a thriving boxing environment and their medal successes stand testament to the hard work and commitment of head coach John Cremin and his team.

A National Lottery grant has helped towards refurbishment but John would also like to develop a programme for young people who have been excluded from school so the search for funding continues.

When they became aware of the Grassroots Grants programme, the club applied to The Suffolk Foundation for funding for equipment, in particular to provide appropriate equipment for its increasing number of young female members.

The Suffolk Foundation has helped the club to replace old worn-out equipment, training aids, kit for boxing like shorts, boots and vests. This extra financial help means the club’s funds can pay for all the essential running costs of the club itself.

The support for the female boxing equipment has been well rewarded – not only is Charley an ABA and European Champion, but her younger sister Sydnee was also a National ABA Champion last year.

Nationally, authorities such as the police are recognising the potential of community youth boxing to curb anti-social behaviour and initiatives such as the Contender Am-Box youth boxing programme are now being delivered across the country.

The Contender Am-Box amateur boxing programme is a partnership initiative between the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain and the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE), and has been successfully piloted by the Metropolitan Police in 60 schools across London.

The aim of the programme is to provide students with a pathway to fitness, good health and awareness of vital citizenship issues, as well as education around issues such as bullying and anti-social behaviour.

Meanwhile, back in Lowestoft, Anthony and Charley are back in the Triple A gym inspiring the young members that they can aim for the stars.

Ogogo will be next in action on BBC television at the Great Britain tournament in Liverpool on November 12/13, as he takes the next step on his journey towards his three main goals – to become Olympic champion; to then turn professional and become world champion; and to become the first black James Bond!

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