Fairbairn Boxing Club unveil new home with grand ceremony

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:02 27 January 2020

Celebrations as the Fairbairn Boxing Club is officially opened at the Greenhill Centre in Manor Park

Celebrations as the Fairbairn Boxing Club is officially opened at the Greenhill Centre in Manor Park

Photography by Ken Mears

Following a decade of nomadic voluntary sporting provision across East London, the nationally successful Fairbairn Boxing Club have finally opened their ‘New Club’ doors with a grand opening on Friday evening.

Retired professional boxer Colin McMillan celebrates the club opening with Jumbo Basi and young boxersRetired professional boxer Colin McMillan celebrates the club opening with Jumbo Basi and young boxers

Special guests ncluding Olympic Bronze medallist and British Light Heavyweight champion Joshua Buatsi, Fairbairn head coach Jumbo Basi, Powerday head of sales Anthony Davitt, East Ham MP Stephen Timms, and London Boxing president Lenny Hagland were in attendance at the Snowshill Road, Manor Park venue.

The club was founded at Fairbairn Youth Club in 1897 in Plaistow, and has been pressured in to moving to various locations over this last decade over their 123 year existance.

Having gained national and international success through their members the club has sought to find a permanent 'New Home in their Spiritual Borough of Newham' and this has been achieved through the local authority- the London Borough of Newham, Powerday Foundation, London Marathon Charitable Trust and Sport England who have generously and mutually re-furbished the former community centre-facility and upgraded all areas of the gym whilst also providing improved training and changing facilities.

This new provision, activities and impact of the club headquarters and permanent base has also been assured through a mixed economy approach providing a long term solution for this iconic voluntary sports club allowing them to flourish further in the future.

Retired professional boxer Colin McMillan talking to young boxersRetired professional boxer Colin McMillan talking to young boxers

The Fairbairn Boxing Club is now seeking to build on their increasing participation levels, numerous national champions and international representatives which were delivered previously under-restricted use of facilities and now with open access and improved equipment the club will move onto greater levels of achievement and out-reach work through schools and community groups.

Fairbairn Boxing Club is a very special place and the new gym which will help to further develop positive interventions for young people and negate peer on peer knife crime, anti-social behaviour through controlled and disciplined sporting experiences ensuring social engagement for young people, breaking down barriers and creating new relationships, through this diverse and multi ethnic project in and across the London Borough of Newham.

Jumbo Basi, Fairbairn Boxing Club, head coach said: "We have for over four decades provided voluntary sport and social integration projects whilst producing over 30 national champions through our community providing the benefits of physical and mental well-being for young people, through these exceptional facilities we can now further enhance our voluntary inspirational provision within our own premises without the restrictions of time, access and equipment.

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"Our unbridled thanks must go to the Powerday Foundation, London Borough of Newham and its officers Mark Perkins and Tony Wyatt, Sport England and the London Marathon Charitable Trust who have all provided investment and commitment in delivering what we celebrate today with a focus on the future delivery for young people provided by local role models and volunteers.

"These facilities are a legacy programme post London 2012 and is a commitment from the community and council to empower local's to do more for young people across Newham."

Powerday Foundation Vice Chairman Edward Crossan said: "Jumbo and the club first came to my attention through their desperate need to protect and extend their voluntary provision which has been provided for many decades in an iconic 'Boxing Hot-Spot of London's East End.

"We have been pleased to support the new facilities and brought together all the committed and mutual essential partners, to deliver a first class gym and equipment levels for the young people of Newham and the surrounding areas.

Jumbo Basi speaking at the opening of the Fairbairn Boxing ClubJumbo Basi speaking at the opening of the Fairbairn Boxing Club

"As a company and foundation Powerday is thrilled to add another iconic and community based club to our list of 40 positive projects with mutual partners and having enabled them to flourish over the last four years, whilst attracting over £14 Million of external investment directly into the sport and 40 clubs and projects across the capital.

"As a company committed to London communities we are pleased to be in a position to continue this support for many years to come in the future-Helping Change Young People's Lives for the Better."

While Joshua Buatsi added: "I am personally pleased to be supporting the Powerday Foundation and the Fairbairn Boxing Club in their provision for young people across the London Olympic- borough of Newham.

"The work of the Powerday Foundation and London Amateur Boxing clubs is inspirational and positive interventions are provided on a daily basis by volunteers who have the community at heart and young people benefit from positive physical and mental well-being activities, and as product of the London, England and GB Boxing performance pathway.

Light heavyweight boxer Joshua Buatsi speaking at the opening of the Fairbairn Boxing Club in Manor ParkLight heavyweight boxer Joshua Buatsi speaking at the opening of the Fairbairn Boxing Club in Manor Park

"I personally and completely understand the benefits of the sport and the positive changes that can be made to young people's lives and opportunities for the better and Fairbairn Boxing Club will no doubt continue this voluntary provision on into the future."

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