Coach fights to secure mental health boxing club’s future

Buckley Boxing Club on Drury Industrial Estate which currently helps children with mental health problems is due to shut down in 2021.

The local Flintshire County Council have offered them an alternative building, but the club says it cannot afford the substantial repairs.

Coach Mark Field explains that the club was like a “second home” to its members.

Mr. Field gave up a career in sport due to health problems and trained as a psychiatric nurse; through this, he has been helping young people gain confidence through boxing for the last 23 years.

However, there are growing concerns about his 200 members that the club will not be able to survive if the council fails to extend their lease.

“I have been training a young lad since he was five, he is eight now, it is like a second home to him,” said Mr. Field, who won a Royal College of Nursing award for his work at the gym earlier this year.

“He has ADHD and his teachers do not know how to deal with him, at one point they wanted to exclude him.

“We reward him if he behaves well. He is doing really well.”

Mr. Field said the council had offered them a different building to train at, but the roof needed repairing and the club did not have the estimated £45,000 to £50,000 needed.

“There is nothing else out there for these children. They come to us, they feel safe, they feel part of it,” he added.

“I will fight it all the way, I will not give in.”

Flintshire Council’s Chief Officer for housing and assets Neal Cockerton said the council had been working to find the club a new home.

“For some time the view was that the club would take over the Bistre Youth and Community Centre, however, we have recently been informed that they no longer wish to pursue this option.

“There are no current proposals by the council to close the building the club use, indeed the facility has an existing lease in place until the end of September 2021.

“We will continue to work with Buckley Boxing Club to offer whatever assistance we can.”

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