Perhaps it’s the times we are living in, or maybe there is a rekindling of community spirit in this county, but one thing is for sure, the community in Ballymahon have certainly brought a whole new meaning to the concept of working together for the common good this week, as they enter the final stages of establishing one of the first ever boxing clubs in the south Longford town.
A new unit has been secured to train the fifty or so members that have already joined up, ranging in age from seven years right up to adulthood. Four coaches – all local – have volunteered their services at the new facility.
The initiative also aims to develop and enhance not just the sport itself, but also the fitness levels of the entire community in Ballymahon and, in so doing, promote and encourage a more healthy and wholesome lifestyle in general, through the club’s planned state of the art gym and exercise equipment.
Richard Heighton has been to the fore in the establishment of the boxing club in Ballymahon and in the coming weeks, he, together with a newly-formed committee will embark on a huge fundraising initiative so that funds can be raised to acquire all the necessary equipment required for a club such as this.
“There has been much planning, discussion and negotiation in Ballymahon over the past few months with regard to the club, but it really began last October when we set up the charity shop here in Ballymahon,” Mr Heighton recalled. “One day, Imelda Nevin came into the shop and told me that her son was interested in boxing. She enquired about the possibility of perhaps setting a boxing club up, and so myself, Caroline Keenan and my wife Tracey decided to hold a meeting and see if a boxing club could be set up in Ballymahon.”
There was a phenomenal response to the meeting, so much so that the need to acquire a facility in the town to house the club, had now become a major priority.
“We decided at that point to try and secure our own building, which we achieved; it is situated next to the fire station and the directors of the Ballymahon and District Community Shop Ltd, together with the committee of the club, have secured a lease on that building.”
Ballymahon Boxing Club is expected to become affiliated to the Irish Amateur Boxing Association next month, and at the end of April, the big fundraiser will take place so that the new facility can be kitted out.
“Over the coming weeks, we will be sending out letters seeking help and support with the purchasing of equipment,” Mr Heighton added.
“On April 29, we will have our major fundraiser which includes a sponsored 5km walk and fun-filled day out for all the family. We have a permit in place, so people can get sponsorship cards by dropping into the charity shop. The event will commence from Skelly’s Bar and when they return from the walk, there will be a BBQ and lots of music and other entertainment for all the family.
“We also plan to hold a street market and are encouraging everyone in Ballymahon to get creative so that they can sell their wares on the day. We are also encouraging school children to become creative and by doing so, they to can raise funds for their school on the day as well.”
Support for this very worthwhile initiative will be very much appreciated. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org