First community boxing event and awards hailed a big hit!

Cleary's boxing gym, Leamington

Hundreds of people attended a new community boxing event which also honoured inspirational and upcoming achievers in the local ring.

The event, last weekend (June 30th) was organised by Warwickshire Crimebeat and hosted by Cleary’s Boxing Gym in Leamington. Its aim was to inspire and empower more young people by learning about the sport – as well as celebrate others with special awards.

The non-profit community gym is owned by Edwin Cleary, who trained with Jack Turpin – younger brother of local boxing legend Randolph Turpin – before himself turning professional.

Lord Lieutenant, Mr Tim Cox with Edwin Cleary.

He said: “I really want to thank everyone who was involved with making the event a success and such an amazing experience for the youngsters within the community. I know some of you couldn’t be there in person however your contributions were greatly appreciated by everyone who attended.

“It has been a privilege to host the first of what we hope is many like it. It’s very heartwarming knowing we have people like yourselves within the communities we live, and very rewarding seeing the efforts of so many come together to recognise the importance of the work we all do, as well as the benefits and opportunities it creates for others. We are incredibly proud of our team, the people they are and all they continue to achieve.”

The day also featured a controlled display of boxing training demonstrations as well as the chance to meet Cleary’s own local boxing champ Danny Quartermaine, fresh from successfully defending his IBF European Featherweight Title the night before in Coventry.

Young people from Leamington presented with awards were:

Award-winner Arthur Addavide pictured with Danny Quartermaine

Arthur Addavide, 14 – Most Improved Young Male Award.

Arthur’s mum Jenny, said: “Arthur’s choice to start boxing gave him more confidence and a more healthy development in social skills and self-belief as Arthur didn’t believe he was good at anything.”

Shane Kavanagh receives his award from Lord Ltnt Tim Cox; Warks Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Emma Daniell; Leader WDC Rob Margrave & Lewis Williams.

Shane Kavanagh, 11 – Most Improved Young Male Boxer Award.

Shane’s dad Sean, said: “Since Shane joined Cleary’s a few months ago we have seen many positive changes in him. Before he was shy, quiet and reserved and no one got to enjoy the person he was becoming but now he has the confidence to share this with pretty much whoever will listen. Here he has found a sport he enjoys that keeps him active and healthy and friends that share the same newfound passion all under the guidance of trainers who genuinely care.

“He has gained focus, discipline, a persistent determination to learn and progress. Never giving up when something seems hard and adapting to anything that is thrown his way. Most of all he is happy.”

Rosie Dacre receives her award from Lord Ltnt Tim Cox; Warks Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Emma Daniell; Leader WDC Rob Margrave & Lewis Williams.

Rosie Dacre, 9 – Most Improved Young Female Boxer Award.

Rosie’s mum Sam, said: “Since starting boxing eight months ago, Rosie has developed in her strength, fitness and confidence. She has found something she loves to do, and is so determined to be the best, she wants to be at the boxing gym at all times, even if it is just to watch her brother Ronnie until she is old enough to train through the week as well as her weekend training.”

Ivie Williams receives her award from Lord Ltnt Tim Cox; Warks Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Emma Daniell; Leader WDC Rob Margrave & Lewis Williams.

Ivie Williams, 8: Most Improved Young Female Award.

Mum Liz said: “She was having a tough time with her school life due to being bullied by a boy. She was getting very anxious and worrying a lot about school which was knocking her confidence.

“Ivie absolutely loves the people at Cleary’s and is already a lot more confident, fitter, stronger and, more importantly, she is happier and not worrying about stuff as much. Cleary’s have made Ivie and our son Jai (who has also been training at Cleary’s for 4/5 months now) so welcome and part of their family.”

Cleary's Boxing Gym, Leamington
Charlie Canavan receives his award from Lord Ltnt Tim Cox; Warks Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Emma Daniell; WDC’s Rob Margrave and Lewis Williams.

Other local winners included Cleary’s Commercial Director Kurt Canavan in recognition of his contribution to the community – as well as his ten-year-old son Charlie Canavan.

Charlie helps train the youngest boxers at the gym after himself being told by doctors he would be unable to fight competitively due to a heart defect at birth.

Dad Kurt said: “We’re so proud of Charlie for having such a positive attitude and for not giving up. Charlie also started campaigning to have a defibrillator in his gym, as he knows how important it is to have the right equipment in the right place. He dedicates his time helping and training the other boxers now.”

The awards followed nominations from Clearys, as well as Boxing Clever in Nuneaton and Bulkington Boxing Club and were presented by Tim Cox, the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire; Warwickshire Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Emma Daniell; Leader WDC Rob Margrave and Cleary’s own Commonwealth 2022 Heavyweight Gold Medallist boxer Lewis Williams.

Cleary's Boxing Gym, Leamington
Shane Kavanagh with Danny Quartermaine.

The gym welcomes up to 300 members since moving into its new £100k premises in Whitnash last September following a crowdfunding campaign. Facilities include three boxing rings (one championship size), a media suite, small conference room, homework space, lounge area, and showers and changing facilities.

The event was supported by sponsors, Warwickshire Institute of Sport, RWS Memorial Foundation and AD Therapy as well as the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

The event took place, on June 30th, alongside the annual Whitnash Picnic In The Park community event.

Find out more about Cleary’s Boxing Gym here.

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