Members of the historic St Paul’s boxing club in Hull are sporting snazzy new kit, thanks to a generous donation from James Legal.
The Hull and Beverley-based law firm has provided new shorts and sweatshirts worth £3,000 for members to wear when representing the club at national and international competitions.
They will don their new kit at an England Select via Ireland Select boxing match on Saturday 12 October, from 7.30pm, the latest of many international fixtures run by the club. Olympic gold champion boxer Luke Campbell, a ‘graduate’ of the club, will also be officially named the gym’s patron at this open event, including food, drink and a fundraising auction, for which tickets are still available.
James Legal’s donation marks the latest show of support from Hull businesses, which have collectively helped raise more than £230,000 towards a much-needed renovation of the club’s premises in Church Side, next to Holy Trinity cathedral in the city centre. The changes are planned to create a more fit-for-purpose training environment for its 500 members – and also help it extend its life-changing formula to more people in the East Yorkshire community, including those with disabilities.
Established in 1948, the club has turned out many boxing greats, including Luke and Commonwealth lightweight title holder Tommy Coyle. But it is its role in providing young people – some of them from socially disadvantaged and troubled backgrounds, and with learning and behavioural difficulties – with a future pathway, for which it is most respected. In fact, many successful Hull people cite St Paul’s as the cornerstone for what they have gone on to achieve.
Yet, despite this huge contribution at the hands of dedicated trainer Mike Bromby and his team of volunteers, the building St Paul’s inhabits has fallen into serious disrepair.
So, he – and a committee of well-wishing local businesses, inspired by what the club has achieved – launched a major fundraising campaign in 2018, for cash to turn the historic gym into the kind of environment it deserves to be.
Of the latest donation from James Legal, Mike said: “For many years, we’ve run the club on a shoestring, just surviving from year to year, but since we launched the appeal we’ve had an amazing group of people on the ground working with us to truly honour the legacy of the club and make it a fit-for-purpose space for our athletes to train in.
“It’s always been more of a community gym than a boxing gym, and the refurbishment will enable us to build on that even more. Over the years, the club has literally saved lives by giving our members a sense of purpose and belief, sometimes when they are in despair, to help them live their best lives as part of a team.
“Our 70 competing members represent the club, and the city, all over the world, and therefore we’re really grateful to James Legal for its generous donation to help ensure they will look the part when they do.”
Byron Swarbrick, who presented the kit on behalf of James Legal, said: “We’ve been absolutely bowled over by what St Paul’s has achieved and it’s our privilege to be able to help in any way we can.