Gosport Boxing Club start Crowdfunding to bid to ensure they’re still around to help ‘keep the town fit’
Gosport Boxing Club are among the local sporting groups that have started on online appeal to help keep them in business during the Covid-10 pandemic.
A Crowdfunding page has been set up, and has already raised over £850 towards a £2,500 target.
Darren Blair has been running the club for 20 years, and prior to that his father Brian was one of the co-founders in the late 1970s.
Like many sports clubs, Gosport BC still have bills to pay at a time when their club is shut during lockdown.
‘Our annual rent is £10,000 a year plus other bills and insurance,’ said Blair.
‘We have some money in the bank for emergencies, but it’s not going to last for ever.
‘I’m pretty sure our landlord would be good if we did fall behind, I’m a landlord myself and I know some of my tenants are struggling to pay their rent at the moment.
‘But we don’t really want to be falling behind if we can help it, which is why we’ve started Crowdfunding. England Boxing have started an online campaign to help clubs, but we were going to do it anyway.
‘I don’t think the gym’s going to be open for a couple of months at best, which is why we want to raise £2,500 - that would get us through a few months.’
Blair continued: ‘When the gym is open we normally say we need to make around £300 a week from people coming in to cover our costs.
‘We’ve got a lovely gym and we only charge kids £3 and adults £4 - that’s quite cheap, but Gosport is not a rich place and we need to get people through the door.’
The fear among some sports clubs is that when the coronavirus crisis has eased and lockdown is lifted, a number of previous players and members might not return.
‘We’re hoping everyone comes back when they can,’ said Blair.
‘Hopefully it will be like January when everyone is keen to get fit after Christmas.
‘We’ve set up a Golden Mile competition where the kids can go down to Stokes Bay with the parents and see how fast they can run the mile.
‘It keeps them fit and competitive - even though they can’t do it together they’re all trying to beat each other’s times.
‘I do it myself - I’ve been down a few times.
‘There’s a family who all come down boxing and their seven-year-old did the mile - he beat my time by a second!
‘It gives the kids something to do - it’s important they get some exercise, there’s too many overweight kids about these days and too many staying indoors playing on their X-Box.
‘I’d say 80 per cent of the kids we get are never going to box for the club, they just come to exercise.
‘Our aim is to try and keep Gosport fit, and hopefully produce some good boxers out of it.’