BOXERS in Leamington face the prospect of being left with nowhere to train.
The Wise Terrace base of Cleary’s ABC is set to be converted into student flats in the next few months.
Some 130 boxers, including national champions, train weekly at the gym, and they are desperately hoping Cleary’s ABC can find a new home with in the town.
Owner Edwin Cleary said he did not want to see the dreams of some of the country’s most promising fighters destroyed.
The gym boasts three boxers on the England programme as well as male and female national champions, nine midlands champions and members who box to ‘keep fit’.
Speaking to The Observer, Edwin said: “I’m concerned all the hard work of our volunteers will be undone.
“It would be a tragedy for Leamington to allow nine years of hard work from myself and our team of volunteers to disappear.
“With all the added housing there will be thousands more kids living in Leamington and we need to ensure they have places to go, not destroying them.”
Edwin, who started boxing at the age of 17, called on the district council to help to save Cleary’s ABC.
The 44 year-old added: “In six months time we could be without a home – and our promising fighters would have to travel should they wish to train.
“I want someone from the council to stand up and say ‘let me make a few phone calls and see if we can sort something out, leave it to me’ – but I’ve received little support.
“Though I understand boxing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, Leamington is steeped in boxing history going back to the 1950s and teaches dedication and discipline – something everyone needs in life.”
Edwin said the gym was a community asset with many success stories during the past decade.
“Boxing has a proven history of bringing communities together and breaking down barriers between different groups of people.
“We have examples of hundreds of success stories including Michael Jephcott who first arrived in Cleary’s weighing 20 stone and suffering from depression having rarely left his house.
“Now Michael weighs a healthy ten stone and recently became a qualified member of our team as well as getting married – what an incredible story, and Cleary’s Boxing Gym are proud to call Michael a member of our team.”
The Observer has contacted Warwick District Council for a comment.
Anyone who can help Cleary’s ABC find a new home can email [email protected].