A new gym in the Walkden area of Salford is nearing completion and set to open before the end of the January.
The facility will include a boxing gym and multi-activity hub for young people. Based at Walkden Town Centre, Walkden Amateur Boxing Club – in partnership with Maverick Stars Trust - will operate alongside a series of sport and leisure programmes delivered by Salford Community Leisure, Integrated Youth Support Services and Salford Youth Alliance. The project is also backed by Greater Manchester Police and ForHousing.
Maverick ambassador and former British, Commonwealth and European champion Jamie Moore is heading up the boxing gym. Now a hugely successful trainer, Jamie’s been keen to put something back into the area he grew up in, and the new facility provides the perfect opportunity to inspire the next generation.
“It's fantastic to see it all take shape and I can't wait for Walkden to finally have its own boxing club. I had to go to Little Hulton to box when I was a kid, but that closed years ago.
Boxing instils discipline, self-confidence and can present all sorts of opportunities. I know, I was that kid without direction and focus. Boxing changed all that for me. It’s not an exaggeration to say it saves lives, it’s a fact.”
Maverick Stars founder Charlotte Gilley believes the scheme will transform the area. "We’ve analysed data from other areas, many of which have serious problems with anti-social behaviour, and it’s clear that a boxing gym can have a massively positive impact." she said.
“Maverick Stars is all about giving young people a chance through sport and we want those young people to show their true potential. This initiative will be a major plus for the area and having Jamie on board is fantastic. There’s no better Salford role model.”
Walkden ABC will be housed in one half of a unit that will also deliver programmes including multi-sports, drama, dance and a variety of leadership initiatives. The hub will provide opportunities for young people to take part in activities, but will also provide a safe haven for those that simply want somewhere to go to meet friends.
Along with the many opportunities provided for young people, the new facility will also provide employment for full-time and part-time boxing coaches and youth workers.