Boxing club comes off the ropes

A STRABANE boxing club is said to be “delighted” after council agreed to temporarily re-home fighters at Riversdale. 
Mourne Golden Gloves Boxing Club, whose current base is a premises at the Old Mill in Strabane, will relocate to the leisure centre ahead of a permanent move to the proposed multi-sports hub at Melvin Sports Centre. 
The move, instigated by the severe disrepair of the Old Mill premises, will cost Derry City and Strabane District Council some £12,000, as other service users at Riversdale must be relocated to accommodate the in-coming boxers. 
A spokesperson for Mourne Golden Gloves stated, “We’re delighted and we’re looking forward to the move as it will give the club a new lease of life.” 
It was suggested at a recent meeting of council that should the temporary move not take place, the very existence of Mourne Golden Gloves could be at stake. 
“The Old Mill Building in Strabane has provided a community based sports location within Strabane for Mourne Golden 
Gloves Boxing Club, where the need for sports and physical provision remains a high priority,” a report from council ex- 
“However, the operation of the boxing facility is constrained by the non-sports specific design, age and condition of the building fabric and as a result the requirement for ongoing works and the associated costs to meet current and anticipated health and safety and compliance standards.  
“Whilst preventative and remedial work programmes have kept the facility operational, there has been a series of short term closures with increasing frequency over recent years. 
“In current day terms the club’s facility falls short of the technical specifications for sports activity expected within a dedicated sports centre and with user expectations.  
“This has had a major impact on the club and the increasing frequency of closures and the need for relocation raises issues of future sustainable programming. Many of the young boxers that were within the club have now left and are now either boxing outside of the district or not participating at all.” 
The report continued, “However, the club has indicated if a temporary relocation does not happen, the club is likely to go out of existence and representations have been made by the Governing Body, Ulster Boxing. 
“A short term solution has been identified within Riversdale Leisure Centre to accommodate the club until completion of the proposed Melvin multi-sports hub.” 
Councillors consequently approved minor repairs to identified facilities within Riversdale Leisure Centre at an estimated 
cost of £12,000 to accommodate users displaced as a result of accommodating Mourne Golden Gloves Boxing Club. 

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