Chichester boxers have three reasons to celebrate

Members of St Gerards Boxing club with their awards
Members of St Gerards Boxing club with their awards

COACHES and boxers at St Gerards Amateur Boxing Club had a treble reason to celebrate on a special evening at their headquarters.

First they received ‘Safer Place’ award from the High Sheriff of West Sussex for the club’s work in addressing anti-social behaviour in the community.

The outgoing High Sheriff, Elizabeth Bennett, and her replacement, David Tupper, and his wife Hillary were present with Greg Ockwell, support officer for West Sussex County Council to hand out the awards.

The Safer Place award recognises St Gerards have helped reduce crime and disorder and was received by Gerry Lavelle and all the club members, who were delighted with the funding that came with the award, allowing the club to stay open for another year.

The second reason for cheer was the club’s 2009-10 boxing awards, sponsored by Tony Coward, the Chichester fruit and veg market trader.

Olly Jones received the best newcomer award and Billy Valentine Lavelle received the best boxer award for winning the Haringey Box Cup medal at lightweight.

Lavelle is now a fully-fledged professional, making his debut on October 8 at the famous York Hall in East London.

Tickets are available from dad Gerry on 01243 786661.

The final award went to old head coach Gerry Lavelle after he was named winner of the outstanding contribution to sport award at the Chichester and District Youth Sport Achuievement Awards run by Chichester District Council in conjunction with the Observer and Rotary Club of Chichester Priory.

Gerry had been unavailable on the night of the awards - typically he was on duty as a show with one of the St Gerards boxers.

He said: “I totally appreciate all the awards we receive and the different bodies who financially support us – especially the county council, as we would have closed by now without their support.

“I would like to thank Greg Ockwell and all his team and the High Sheriffs for their ongoing support, without which we couldn’t survive.

“They’re the main reason why were still addressing anti-social-behaviour in a big way through St Gerards. “Now we just need our own premises to really make a difference and open a boxing academy.”