Emotions run high as community facility is re-launched 18 months after arson attack
ONE of the driving forces behind a fundraising campaign to reopen a Skelmersdale boxing club targeted by arsonists was overwhelmed by the public response to its re-launch.
Colin Day said he was “choked up” before giving a speech at the open day to mark the reopening of Birch Green ABC on Saturday (January 12).
The future looked for grim for the club in Heversham following the arson attack in July 2017.
Just prior to the incident members and supporters had raised more than £20,000 with the help of grants and various events to pay for a new roof, shower facilities, two boxing rings and equipment including bags and gloves.
But Colin, who ran the facility for all ages with son Colin junior, showed his own fighting to spirit to bounce back from the bodyblow and a combination of an insurance pay-out and further fundraising efforts saw the club undergo a six-figure rebuild culminating in Saturday’s open day.
Colin said: “It was good to open our doors to the community again but when I got up to say a few words I got quite emotional. This has been a long time coming.
“We had a really good turnout for the event. It was packed and there was a constant stream of people throughout the two hours, both young and old.
“Many of those that came congratulated us on the reopening having read about it in the Champion.
“We put out 50 registration forms to fill in which had the history of the club and our rules and regulations and they were all taken.
“We start training this week.”
Opening times for the boxing training are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 7pm. The classes are for all ages and the aim is to split the groups according to ability. Sessions cost £2 for juniors (aged nine to 16) and £4 for seniors (aged 17 and upwards).