St Paul’s is celebrating today as they received confirmation that the Charity Commission has granted the Boxing Academy ‘charitable incorporated organisation’ status after many months of dialog and drafting of documents. Such a status will now assist the new charity to raise funds to enable it to refurbish its current base and transform its service provision to the local community.
Founded in 1948, St Paul’s Boxing Academy has turned out champions of the sport including Olympic Gold Medallist Luke Campbell and Commonwealth lightweight title holder Tommy Coyle.
Even more importantly, though, it has produced hundreds of ‘champions in life’, setting kids – including those with behavioral or learning disabilities, and from socially disadvantaged and troubled backgrounds – on the path to success in life.
Yet despite this huge contribution at the hands of hugely dedicated Head trainer Mike Bromby and his team of volunteers, the building St Paul’s inhabits has fallen into serious disrepair.
So he – and a committee of well-wishing local businesses inspired by what his team has achieved – in addition to seeking charitable status, launched a major fundraising campaign in 2018, for cash to turn the historic gym into the kind of environment it deserves to be.
Their fundraising target for the initial, essential works and equipment is £300,000. This will pay for the complete refurbishment of the gym’s interior including new showers and changing rooms, a new kitchen, the refurbishment of the interior roof space to reveal the stunning vaulted ceiling space which is currently boarded over, new heating and the creation of a glass-fronted viewing area for boxing officials and parents watching the sporting activities. The St Paul’s team also wants to invest in new IT facilities to enable them to, among other things, video and play back sparring sessions so that the competitors can learn how to perfect their technique.
So far they have raised £214,000 towards this grand total through donations, fundraising boxing dinners and grants from local charities including The Tribune Trust, Hull & East Riding Charitable Trust, the Matthew Good Foundation and Howden Rotary Club – as well as a substantial grant from Sport England.
With the confirmation of charitable status and the raising of the funds, their grand plan is to widen the reach of St Paul’s, including opening it up for other community groups to use, including schools like Aspire that cater for children with behavioural issues who can benefit from having a new outlet and interest.
“I am extremely pleased that the Commission has agreed to grant the gym charity status as it will now allow us to raise the funds required to not only refurbish the building but to transform the services we provide to the wider community” said John Rutherford, chair of the current Management Committee.
“This place, and the work that’s done here, is just incredible and a real unsung gem nationally that forms an important bedrock of community in Hull.
Darren Peacock, who has recently donated 300 matching T-shirts and water bottles to the club, as well as tracksuits for the trainers, added: “This place is just infectious and it’s impossible not to be inspired by the work being done at St Paul’s.
“I feel privileged to be a member of the committee, and decided to invest in providing some much-needed kit to add to the kids’ sense of belonging and pride – as well as enabling them to present a more professional image in competitions with other clubs from around the UK.”