POLITICAL big-hitters packed a punch at Waterlees Boxing Club on Friday.
MP Steve Barclay – who is honorary president of the club – and Fenland District Council leader Alan Melton donned their gloves for a friendly sparring match while touring the facilities at the Wisbech club.
The club was set up by local boxer Simon Lee around a year ago in response to a lack of activities for young people in the most socially-deprived part of the town and has since grown in popularity.
Simon is more than qualified for the role as coach. He was the Amateur Boxing Association Champion, National Schoolboy Champion, Port of London Authority Champion, Sportsman of the Year UK and he represented Great Britain six times.
He is in the process of trying to secure funding from the council, with a team of helpers, and has already received some money from Wisbech Town Council.
Situated in a warehouse on Silver Street, opposite the Boathouse, facilities at the club are basic but Simon plans to develop them and reach more young people.
Simon said: “There is no pressure to be a boxer. It’s about having fun, improving confidence, keeping fit and integrating. There are a lot of different nationalities in Wisbech now and we welcome everyone.”
The club has been praised by local fire and police, who support any activity that seeks to lower cases of anti-social behaviour, an issue around the Waterlees area.
Inspector Robin Sissons from Cambs Police said: “Generally young people get up to more mischief when they’re bored and have no aspirations. Any project that stimulates boys and girls in physical activity, membership and challenges will reduce the incidences of anti-social behaviour.”
A scheme is also in the process of being developed that will see residents earning “Community Credits” by doing voluntary work that will enable them to use the boxing club free of charge.
• Anyone interested in joining Waterlees Boxing Club can go along to the club on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, from 6pm to 9pm. Cost is £2 per session.