A new boxing academy is being set up in Corby to help keep young people on the right track.
John Mulheron, the man who discovered and helped coach professional boxer Simon Barclay, is moving Corby Amateur Boxing Club from its existing premises in Macadam Road to a new site in Rockingham Road.
The club has submitted plans to convert the buildings of the former Howitt’s Garden Centre, which shut seven years ago, into a new boxing gym.
John hopes that as well as existing members of the club, the new gym will give more focus to young people who may have been in trouble with the police or may not have steady home lives.
Plans have been submitted to Corby Council and John has already secured help to fix up the buildings from local tradesmen who have volunteered their time.
He said: “It’s going to be a boxing academy that will cater for people from all kinds of backgrounds including those who may have been expelled from school or have run into a bit of trouble and be involved with the probation service.
“It’s a really big space - 252 sq m - and it means we can put a ring up and leave it up without having to keep taking it down.
“We have things like bags already but we are going to need some new equipment.
“We’ve had some really kind offers from local businesses that have agreed to chip-in.
“We are also in the process of getting the club accredited.
“We’ve been working with the borough council and Northamptonshire County Council.”
The club is home to two times ABA champion Simon Barclay, now with the Frank Warren stable but still heavily involved with Corby Amateur Boxing Club.
Jonh added: “He came up through our ranks and is a great example for the young boxers here.
“They see what he’s achieved and it gives them something to aim for.”
John has been involved in boxing his whole life although he was never a boxer himself because of hearing problems.
He said: “It’s a great sport for young people to be involved with.
“It’s not about what you see in the ring, it’s the months of sparring, conditioning work and training to get to that level.”
New members are always welcome at the club.
You can find out more on its Facebook page.
The planning application can be viewed on Corby Council’s website.