BOXING: THIS month marks the tenth anniversary of Clearys Boxing Gym.
The gym has produced some of Leamington’s finest fighters including Lewis Williams, Danny Quartermaine, and Morgan Ansell.
Ironically, on the day of Clearys’ anniversary, star lightweight Michael Cole accepted an eleventh hour deal to fight Conor Benn at the 02 Arena in London live on Sky Sports.
With the Wise Terrace venue going from strength to strength, owner Edwin Cleary penned a letter to The Observer to reflect, look forward, and live in the moment of his gym.
‘I remember the day we opened as some people were making out the world was going to end as the UK started the ban on smoking in public places.
The ten years have really flown bye.
In the ten years we’ve developed as coaches and are now considered as a top gym, regularly producing top class boxers of all ages.
After two months preparation, the gym in Wise Street was open to the public
At the start my objective was to teach anyone the stile and system I was shown in my time in Sheffield at the world famous Ingle gym under the guidance of Brendon Ingle MBE and his two sons Dominic and john.
As a kid that use to hang around street corners and with youth clubs closing, I knew how important boxing gyms are to local communities keeping youngsters off the streets and there’s no better system than what Brendon Ingles taught.’
‘After a year it was apparent with the demand from the youngsters we were going to have to start our own amateur club.
In 2010 after jumping we finally finally given permission from Warwickshire ABA – and our first season was amazing.
We had six boxers in 44 contests and only 4 losses – a fantastic record. But since then the gym has gone from strength to strength.
There were people saying things like it wouldn’t last one season.
Seven years later we’ve had multiple national champions, scores of midland champions, and England boxers.
Cleary’s Boxing Gym has put Leamington back on the boxing map.’
‘Many people will walk into the gym and see me sat on a chair that’s how I coach. I’ve had loads of comments over the years.
But the boxers need to work the system and figure things out for themselves.
I’ll call things out from time to time but I don’t stand over them.
I don’t tell the boxers off, it’s not school and they don’t have to be here.
They know when to mess about and have a laugh but they also know when it’s time to be serious.
If they’re going to be in the gym everyday it’s got to be fun. Serious fun.
We’ve now put together a fantastic Team at Clearys.
From chairman Ady Bush to coach Adam Blockley – they’re all volunteers.’
‘As you may already know in January we were told we have only a little time left with the gym at Wise Street.
The gym has been earmarked of student flats in the coming months.
We were contacted by Richard Sparkes from Whitnash Sports and Social Club next to Acre Close Park in Whitnash.
After the first meeting it was apparent that they really wanted to help.
Seven months later we are now working together on a couple of projects including a new home for Clearys Boxing Gym.
As I’ve lived in Whitnash all my life and the new sight only a hundred yards from my house it does seem like destiny.
I must thank our sponsors Eddie Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Fitters whos has sponsored the gym for the past four years to help in any way he can.
Also a big mention and thank you to Adam Blockley and Roy Thornton our two lead coaches, they do a fantastic job in and out of the gym.
So what will the next ten years bring?
Hopefully this new gym so boxing can stay alive
To carry on giving back and keeping youngsters off the streets and to continue producing some of the best boxers to keep Leamington’s boxing heritage going.’