L-R Mike Booth, Vice Chair, Sport Newcastle; Sophie Ray, Kenton ABC; Ava Henry, (European female Champion) Dublin Docklands Boxing Club; Philip Keogh, Head Coach, Kenton ABC and back row Craig Pape, Manager, Kenton ABC

Kenton Amateur Boxing Club (A.B.C.) continues to punch above it weight in the North East boxing scene, and go from strength to strength, as a host of amateur, Commonwealth and Olympic boxers from across the region and overseas came together for an exclusive programme of top class sparring.

Open to the public, the master class event took place at Kenton Park Sports Centre, and featured more than 60 boxers from clubs across the region and saw boxers from Dublin Docklands Boxing Club travel to Newcastle to compete in the event.

Across the two-day event, members of the public and local community were treated to over 100 sparring sessions in Olympic sized rings, featuring multiple Irish and European champions, all expertly refereed by the region’s top class referees Paul Bainbridge and Gary Robson.

The amateur boxing clubs represented included Benwell Victoria, North Road, Wallsend Boxing, Dunston, Ashington, North Star, Mainsforth Empire School of Boxing, Dublin Docklands, PS Boxing, Barnard Castle and Marden.

Advertisement

Craig Pape, Manager, Kenton A.B.C., said, “This event was an excellent opportunity for our local community to come together and experience the very best of amateur boxing without cost.

“There was some outstanding boxing on show, and we want to thank all the boxers and families who took part and made the event such a resounding success.

“We are all so proud of what we are achieving here at Kenton A.B.C. and the support we have continued to receive from local people, grass-roots sports charity Sport Newcastle and local wealth management business, Tier One Capital, helping our club to go from strength to strength.”

Sport Newcastle recently awarded Kenton A.B.C. with a grant of £1,000 to purchase new boxing gloves and head guards and also made funds available to coach six members of the club to achieve NVQ coaching qualifications.

This support has been vital to help the progression of youngster and improve their capabilities within the sport.Kenton A.B.C. received its first grant to purchase boxing gloves and head guards so that young boxers did not have to share kit during the Covid pandemic. Since then, the relationship between the club and Sport Newcastle has flourished.

Mike Booth, vice chair, Sport Newcastle, visited the masterclass and saw for himself how the open day brought the community together and the quality of the boxing on show.

He said: “From our very first visit to Kenton A.B.C. we could see it was a well-run organisation with its roots firmly established in the local community. We had no hesitation in funding 6 of their coaches to further their qualifications and also to award one of these coaches an ‘Unsung Heroes’ award for the fantastic work done with the youngsters.”

“The facilities are fantastic, and I was really impressed with the way that the coaches got the youngsters working and sparring straight away. It was obvious that they were enjoying themselves and trying their hardest.”

Ian McElroy, Chief Executive Tier One Capital, and Sport Newcastle’s main sponsor, said. “It is great to see the impact of our continued partnership with Sport Newcastle and the positive effect it’s having in the local community and surrounding area. To see so many keen youngsters sparring in a disciplined way and enjoying themselves was truly fantastic.

“Tier One Capital is committed to supporting sport in the community and it’s obvious to me that Kenton A.B.C. is one of the best examples of this in the city.”

Advertisement