A NEW HOME FOR BLACKBIRD LEYS ABC
Founded in 1960 to offer the physical, social and personal benefits of a demanding but rewarding sport to the community of Blackbird Leys, we are the oldest open boxing club in Oxford. Our club is entirely run by volunteers, giving their time, expertise, and passion for the sport to new generations of boxers. We see the difference our sport and our club make in people’s lives at every training session.
For a long time, we have been based at the Blackbird Leys Community Centre. It has done us proud, but it no longer meets the needs our growing club. Plans for redevelopment of the Centre are proceeding and there will be no space for us in its new form.
It is time for us to have a proper home, right in the heart of our community.
We can do even more with our own purpose-built facilities: we can offer places in training sessions for greater numbers and no longer have to turn people away, whether they want to box competitively or just improve their fitness and make friends; we can provide the full range of equipment and the space to make it work; we can play a bigger part in helping to grow women’s boxing; we can welcome other clubs and societies to use our facilities, and host our own events. We can be a hub for our community in so many other ways, to help people improve their fitness or other skills, or just drop in for advice or companionship; we can build connections between our club, our community and those beyond it, to the benefit of all.
Our new boxing club building is currently moving through the outline planning permission process for the proposed design (see below). It will cost around £1million but we are up for the challenge because the goal is so transformational, and the design is exactly what we have long dreamed of. If boxing teaches us anything, it is that the best results only come from hard work and commitment.
So, to make this happen we have turned our club into a charitable incorporated organisation, appointed a brilliant group of skilled and supportive trustees, and a Project Group to support them. We have worked with colleagues at Oxford City Council and Jessop & Cook architects to develop plans for a wonderful new building (see below). Oxfordshire County Council have made a plot of land available besides the Leys Leisure Centre
The support of so many other people and organisations will be necessary to make this dream happen. We look forward to telling you more about it in the weeks ahead, but please contact us at info@blackbirdleysboxing if you would like to know more or get involved.