In 2010, after over 50 years of operation, the Amateur Boxing
Club's future was in turmoil. New leasing proposals at the Club's
former dwellings meant that the boxers needed to move from their
Club Trustee, Tim Ballam recalls:
"Our lease was up on the premises and we needed to find
somewhere else for training. Worryingly this was proving to be
quite difficult. We had been able to keep our costs very low in the
past, which was great for making the club accessible to all of the
local communities but with new premises came higher overheads.
"We also wanted to improve the facility and equipment that we
were able to offer our boxers, but in many of the premises that we
looked at the infrastructure just simply wasn't there. All options
would need us to make compromises that we would never want to
In the same town, the community museum had also seen its fair
share of bad luck. A fire had seen the museum's building burnt to
the ground. As a community institution, the museum had however been
given the support to see the build of a new purpose built
Luckily Denbigh Amateur Boxing Club, was too seen as a community
institution and the club's legacy saw its luck change. The Museum
offered the Club's Trustees the opportunity to have its own
purpose-built facility within the new museum build.
"The Museum's Trustees sympathised with the club. We have always
been a community venture; some had even been part of the club's
history many years before and they were keen to keep our legacy
alive. The move also saw the club become part of the museum's
exhibitions, dedicating areas to 1950's sports memorabilia."
With National Lottery grants awarded by Sport Wales and funding
from Denbighshire County Council, Denbigh Amateur
Boxing Club very soon had its brand new facilities.
Facilities which are now seeing more locals engaging with the club
than ever before and which are supporting young boxers to progress
through the ranks to the top of the sporting pathway.
"Things are fantastic; the new gym is fit to burst to be honest!
We have members of all ages, seven to 50+, boys and girls.
We've been able to stick to our principals, keeping the club as a
community venture and ensuring that we are able to cater for the
local demand. It all seems to be working.
"We've also been able to make links with other local clubs,
giving our most advanced and promising young boxers the opportunity
to practice against others at their level. It's really supporting
When it really mattered, the local community stepped in to
support this boxing club. This happened because the club kept
the interests of the local community central to what it was trying
to deliver. Below Tim outlines the principals that keep Denbigh
Amateur Boxing club as a local institution and how this is helping
it go from strength to strength.
Access over Profit
Denbigh ABC was born from a less affluent area. Cost and keeping
activities affordable for the whole community had always been a
priority for the club.
Utilising a shared facility and accessing financial support from
bodies such as the local council and Sport Wales meant that the
club could stay true to this principal.
Options for All
The club has an extremely varied membership and is consciously
looking to engage with different groups within the local community,
which is leading to an overall growth in membership.
"We are focussing on providing progression options for our
promising youngsters, but at the same time recognise that not
everyone wants to fight competitively. We value those that come
along for the fun and fitness just as much and our sessions reflect
this. We ensure that we tailor our offering to demand.
"We are also trying hard to cater for specific groups, such as
women and girls, and have linked up with a local school to support
this and are now offering dedicated 'girls only' sessions".
The club has partnered up with many different organisations;
from the museum, to the local council to other boxing clubs. Not
all would have been expected, but they have played a crucial role
in supporting its development and in keeping it a central part of
the local community.
Even before the club had its new top class facilities, the club
supported its most promising boxers by partnering up with other
local clubs. Providing opportunities to help promising youngsters
remained a priority. Now coaches have been up-skilled to
support these youngsters and the boxers are all registered for
competitions, but it still uses partnerships to support competitors
in developing and refining skills.
Sport Wales grants to launch online applications
The way you apply for your Sport Wales funding is changing. From
the 26th October you will be able to register to access the Sport
Wales Grant portal, where you can apply online for Community Chest,
Development Grants, Elite Cymru and National Governing Body (less
than £50k) grants. The process is quick and straight forward, and
your online application will be submitted directly to Sport Wales,
thus reducing the time from application to funding.
Paper based or pdf applications will not be accepted after the
26th October, unless in exceptional circumstances.