A KNOCKOUT grant of £7,500 from the National Lottery has packed a timely punch for Dunfermline Boxing Club.

Operated by volunteer coaches, and managed by Dany Coll and Stuart Rowa-Dewar, the club, which has a membership of more than 300, has received the four-figure boost from the National Lottery Awards for All scheme.

The initiative provides community, arts and sports projects, run by registered charities, voluntary or community organisations, not-for-profit companies, schools and statutory bodies, the opportunity to access grants of between £500-£10,000.

Based at Woodmill High School, the club – which has been running in Dunfermline for around 25 years – returned to their home in January, having had to use Queen Anne High School following August's devastating fire at Woodmill.

They welcome both children and adults to train, have launched successful women's classes, and encourage those who don't want to compete to come along to benefit from the fitness and self-confidence boxing training can provide.

The funding is set to be used to run more classes and Stuart, who along with Dany took over the running of the club in 2015, explained: "We applied six months ago but completely forgot about it.

"We apply for a lot of grants, as does every club, but when we got the message to say we had been awarded it for £7,500, we were dumbstruck.

"It will certainly make a big difference to the club and maintain our financial viability. We've had no classes since mid-March and, if we were to shed members – although I don't think we will – we will be able to pay rent.

"We've been running a women's group, one class a week, but they came to us and said that was not enough and that they needed more fitness, so I started taking them out in the public park three times a week.

"We'd like to put on more classes if possible but we'd need to recruit more coaches. We've got four at the moment but they are all volunteers, with full-time jobs and families."

The funding boost comes after a difficult time for the club, who moved into their custom-built gym at Woodmill – converted from an underused squash court – a year ago.

That came after they were forced out of their previous base, at Halbeath Community Centre, when it was closed as part of plans to create a new nursery on the site.

Stuart, who said the club will look to offer online classes for members, added: "There is going to be hurdles put in the way but you just get on with it and do it.

"If you throw the towel in at the first bit of adversity, then sports clubs wouldn't get anywhere.

"We've got a membership of around 300 and, on a nightly basis, have between 25-30 people quite regularly attending boxer's classes.

"There's been significant growth in our women's and kids' classes, and we're very pleased with that."

A National Lottery Awards for All spokesperson said: “In these uncertain times, we want to ensure that National Lottery money continues to flow to charities, voluntary sector organisations and grassroots groups.

"Dunfermline Boxing Club is a great example of a project that will have huge health and wellbeing benefits for local people and shows the difference that the smallest amounts of funding can make."


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