Lads Club boxers find new home

Norwich Lads amateur boxing club is celebrating after finding a new headquarters.The Lads Club, founded in 1918, was on the ropes after it had to give up its previous home following the closure of Lakenham Leisure centre, but has now bounced back after agreeing a long-term lease to train at the Hewett School.

Norwich Lads amateur boxing club is celebrating after finding a new headquarters.

The Lads Club, founded in 1918, was on the ropes after it had to give up its previous home following the closure of Lakenham Leisure centre, but has now bounced back after agreeing a long-term lease to train at the Hewett School.

It means that the 100-plus members can now look forward to a bright future and concentrate on their sport instead of worrying whether the club will still be in existence.

“I'm delighted that we've been able to find somewhere suitable,” said club patron Les King. “I was very worried that the club would have to fold. It means the great traditions of the club can continue and we can concentrate on training the champions of the future.”

“A lot of the credit has to go to secretary Alan Weston who helped negotiate the agreement.

“I would also like to thank, on behalf of the members, the Evening News for its support in trying to find the club a new home and the Lord Mayor Roy Blower also helped raise the awareness of our plight.”

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The news comes just in the nick of time as the club had to have a home in order to register its boxers with the Amateur Boxing Association for the forthcoming season.

The club has bought a collapsible ring along with other new equipment to kit out the gym and is ready to receive members new and old.

A big supporter of the club and boxing fan Lord Mayor Roy Blower, who is also a spokesman for Sport for Norfolk, said: “I'm absolutely delighted that after lots of searching and speaking to lots of people we have eventually found somewhere.

“I'm really delighted because they do a tremendous job for those youngsters and have done for many, many years.”

The Lads Club's first home was in St George's Street and was opened on March 8, 1918. John Henry Dain, the then Chief Constable of Norwich, founded the club promising “healthy and instructive recreation and amusements”.

Over the years it has been a training ground for some of the region's top fighters, including middleweight Ginger Sadd, welterweight Jack Forster, heavyweight world champion Herbie Hide and current British lightweight title-holder Jon Thaxton.

The Lads Club has also been based previously in King Street, Whiffler Road as well as Lakenham.

The club will be open on Mondays and Wednesday from 7pm. For further information contact Les King on (01953) 603997.

The Dick Futter memorial show will take place at the TA Centre on Aylsham Road on Friday, October 5.

The opening ceremony starts at 7.30pm with boxing due to commence at 8pm. Tickets are priced £10 and are available from Glen Saffer on (01603) 508198 or Ray Pease on (01603) 744630.

Are you behind a campaign to save an important scheme in the community? Contact Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk