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MAIDSTONE: Second amateur boxing club faces closure

Thursday 25th November 2021

A SECOND amateur boxing club faces closure after its premises was granted permission to be turned into flats.

Westree Amateur Boxing Club (WABC), which takes boys, girls and seniors of all ages, must find a new headquarters by March 2022.

The building at 8 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, which houses the boxers, a kick-boxing outfit and a bathroom retailer is now set aside for housing.

The club needs premises which can house the specialist equipment needed for a boxing club, not least permanent space for the ring, which would otherwise take two hours to assemble and take down.

WABC chairman Eddie Henderson (78), a former Kent heavyweight champion in 1963, said: “It’s very worrying – we need to find somewhere soon, or we’ll have to close. It’s as simple as that, so we’d like to appeal to anyone who might know of somewhere suitable.”

WABC is so popular it has had to turn away new members but regularly gets 50-60 at its training sessions. Members include youths from diverse family backgrounds, some from Eastern Europe and Russia.

Eddie added: “There’s been a few over the years who were veering towards becoming troublesome and boxing has given them purpose and a diversion.”

In the red brick building’s place will be 19 apartments with 14 car parking and 20 cycle storage spaces. The new block will face out to the road with the parking screened to the rear.

Earlier this month, Downs Mail highlighted the similar plight of Maidstone Amateur Boxing Club which faces losing its home at Heather House, Park Wood, when it is redeveloped.

The borough council is to create a new premises but there will not be a space suitable for MABC  to move into with the boxing club’s requirements.

Both MABC and WABC have viewed alternatives but none fitted the bill and those that do are too expensive. The clubs have not ruled out sharing.

Earlier this month, Downs Mail highlighted the similar plight of Maidstone Amateur Boxing Club which faces losing its home at Heather House, Park Wood, when it is redeveloped.

The borough council is to create a new premises but there will not be a space suitable for MABC  to move into with the boxing club’s requirements.

Both MABC and WABC have viewed alternatives but none fitted the bill and those that do are too expensive. The clubs have not ruled out sharing.

 

PIC: In the group picture are: Nicholas Mihalache (9), Cobie Brownson (15), Franky-Joe Manser (10), Johnny Jones, Tim Ivanovs (8), Daniel Promislovs (9), Willy Mallion (11), Daisy Constable (13), Oscar Cole (14), Ollie Evans (11), Deano Manser (11), Leo Cheall (13), Ryan Bibbings (14), Ben McAteer (14), Max Kirillovs (11), Yaroslav Yeliseyenko (14), Finley Ashton (13), Ava Arnold (14), Lacey Pearce (15), Harry Gillies (16), Nicky Kolev (13), Matt King (15), Scott King (13) Joel Flaherty (13) and Zach Harvey (13)

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