A West Belfast boxing club that has been at the heart of the community for 50 years is raising money to make their club stronger than ever.
Based in Turf Lodge, Holy Trinity Boxing Club has coached, mentored and helped thousands of youngsters since the day they opened their doors.
And in their landmark year, the close-knit boxing community now joins in a fundraising effort to further improve the quality of the club.
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Aiming to raise £10,000, the club say that when they reach that target, Sport NI will add £5,000 – money that will bring much more than physical benefits to the club.
Speaking to Belfast Live, Holy Trinity founder and head coach Michael Hawkins said: “We’ve encountered many hurdles along the way, but Covid-19 has come and thrown a punch. For the first time in our history, we were forced to close and cancel all training and group coaching, of course necessary to play our role, this presented major inconveniences.
“We’re coming out of it now and we can’t wait to get back into things. We want to get better and better. We want to write club history now and continue that legacy for the next 50 years.
“Belfast is steeped in boxing history and it is great to shout about the successes of all our clubs. Our short 2019/20 season saw Holy Trinity boxers win 129 gold medals and 25 gold medals. money at the county, provincial and national level.
“When we closed it was awful. We were flying then the pandemic hit. This fundraiser is all about coming back. The kids are coming back and coming back in droves. Our youngest members would be nine years old.
“The week before Covid closure we organized an underage night for under 9’s as part of a new scheme. Young people were queuing up to Norglen Gardens, it was phenomenal. Sadly those 100 children did not enter the club and with this fundraiser we can improve our club for the whole community.
“In the true spirit of the Holy Trinity, we will not stop improving our club. Covid, even if it has come in the swing, we are not going to throw in the towel.”
Holy Trinity’s team of coaches and volunteers say they believe the sport is a massive contributor to their community and everyone should have the opportunity to participate.
Appealing to the public, Emma Louise Lowe said any support given will enable them to “work tirelessly to provide the best possible facilities and opportunities for our members”.
“It will continue to give them every opportunity to succeed both as an athlete and as a person,” she added.
“Everyone in our club is a volunteer. Nobody gets a penny, they are so dedicated to the philosophy and mission of the club. We have a direct impact on our boxers, but we also have an indirect impact on the community which surrounds us.
“There are a lot of things we do besides boxing. We want to provide space to help with physical, mental and emotional strength – not just inside the ring.
“We are not just celebrating a 50th birthday one day, we are celebrating every month. We will be bringing 25 children every month across Ireland. We also have other competitions to look forward to and this week we want with our member Clepson Dos Santos the best of luck at the U22 European Championships this week in Croatia.
“This year is the year of the celebration of the Holy Trinity and we want to celebrate every person who has ever put on this Holy Trinity vest. Each one of them has played a central role in the success of the club.
“Our supporters and sponsors over the years too, we wouldn’t be here today without them. We have a special thank you to Sport NI, Belfast City Council and the Mary Peter’s Trust.”
You can donate and follow the fundraising efforts of Holy Trinity through this link.
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