Track Fitness and Boxing Club has been operating with its current leadership team since 2018, occupying a space at Burden Road which butts onto Adult Learning. Due to changes in personnel, the Club was not aware their lease had run out in April and they now have until March 31st, 2010 to vacate the premises. There are 442 members of the Club, who attend from Cottingham, Pocklington, Kilnwick, Lund, Market Weighton, Tickton, Walkington etc as well as Beverley. The leaders have voluntarily given their time and own money to become qualified to England Boxing standard as coaches, first aiders and safeguarders to train their young charges to England Boxing’s stringent rules and regulations. There are now 15 youngsters who are ‘carded’ or licensed to box at very junior level, flying the flag for Yorkshire!
The boxing code followed is the ultra-safe, extremely well-regulated Olympic Boxing where boxers must demonstrate commitment, self-control, discipline and physical as well as mental fitness before they are allowed in a ring. There must always be a doctor present even though the boxers wear headguards, mouthguards and lightweight gloves. Olympic Boxing is considered a martial art – boxing is often referred to as ‘The art of Boxing.’ The 15 train 3x a week minimum, some of them traveling in many miles.
I am concerned that there will be 442 young people and their leaders with nowhere to train after March 31st. The Club accepts they have to leave their premises and are, indeed, ambitious and would like better facilities. They are now actively looking, but I was very keen to see the eviction order halted and proposed a motion at Full Council to this end. Unfortunately, the Tory majority amended the motion so that the eviction order for March 31st still stood. A further amendment to quash the eviction order completely until the Club has found somewhere to go was also defeated.
The argument from the majority party is that March 31st draws a line under the Club’s tenancy and gives them a clear date to work towards; my party (LibDems) believes such a target date is stressful and is not helpful. However, the Leader of the Council promised he would help find the Club somewhere to go, if only as an interim, until they find somewhere optimal. Another majority-party Councillor stated that they are ‘almost there’ in finding the Club somewhere.
The reason why the Council needs the premises is that Adult Learning has been awarded £4.6m in education contracts and they need the space to deliver these additional courses – if the courses aren’t delivered then the money will be lost. As ERYC is suffering from austerity cuts, grants such as this are vital and it is only right that Adult Learning provides a service every bit as important as the Boxing Club. But surely adult learners can be accommodated anywhere whilst a Boxing Ring is large, unwieldy and definitely not transportable.
So, I support Track Fitness and Boxing and would ask if anyone has any space to accommodate them, whether that be a building or spare land for a modular building, or cash for sponsorship because they deserve all the help they can get! However, Adult Learning also provide a very valuable service, which is why it’s important everyone rallies round and helps provide a solution to this issue.