Power & Reach of Boxing Series: Aberdeen Boxing Club
We continue our new series on the power and reach of boxing with news of recognition for a club that has had to pick itself off the canvas in recent years.
Aberdeen Boxing Club, a club whose lineage stretches all the way back to 1920, has been named ‘Club of the Year’ at the 2017 Aberdeen Sports Awards.
While beating off competition from clubs from a number of different sports, the award is equally remarkable considering the Northfield outfit was forced to stop activities in 2013 after the council shuttered the Community Centre they operated out of, with the club re-opening in May 2015 after a two-year absence.
“It has been a long road back,” said head coach Leroy Smith.
“It has been a lot of hard work, a lot of time and a lot of patience really, and it is all starting to pay off now.
“We started from scratch and you have to build from the ground up, which takes a lot of time.
“Any success or progression you have is sometimes not visible until you look back and realise just how far we have come.
“It has been a real journey.”
The club have had some successes in the ring since their return two years ago, with two silvers and a gold at the Novice Championships, a University Championship and a schoolboy District championship.
But like many community clubs, the real success stories of the club go unpublicised, with the club having a tremendous impact on its members in so many ways.
“We want to use boxing as a vehicle to drive positive change in young people,” Leroy added.
“Not everyone who goes into a boxing gym is going to compete.
“We offer an alternative to people so if they go along to the club they can get fit and it is worthwhile for them.
“We have a young lad who is 21 or 22 who started coming along and he was quite overweight and was on a diet from the doctor, and he has lost an awful lot of weight over the past few months.
“There is always the option of helping out on the coaching side of things as well.
“We have a young lad called Filip who is 16 and we have put him through the Boxing Scotland Level One course and are training him up to be a coach.
“Boxing is going through a good phase right now up here as a lot of the other clubs seem to be doing a lot of things out with their clubs as well and linking in with other organisations, which is really positive.”