West Herts Amateur Boxing Club packs a punch with boost thanks to council grant

Boxing NCIL

West Herts Amateur Boxing Club (ABC) has been awarded a generous grant of £5,000 from the council's Neighbourhood Grant initiative...

This funding will enable the club to expand its services and provide two new weekly sessions targeting disadvantaged children and young people aged 11-19 (25 for those with SEN) who are new to the Callowland and Central Watford area. The aim of these sessions is to provide a positive outlet for those experiencing loneliness, isolation, and vulnerability to negative influences.

Founded in 2020, West Herts ABC has been dedicated to using boxing as a tool for social change in Watford. Led by local boxing legend Saud Hafiz, the club aims to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of young people while promoting values such as discipline, friendship, and respect for the community.

A former amateur boxer who represented England and won two national titles, Saud Hafiz also understands the transformative power of the sport. His personal journey, which began at the age of 13 to cope with the loss of his father, underscores his commitment to using boxing as a means of empowerment and positive change.

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Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said “Watford has a proud history in boxing from the famous Buxton family to Saud and the latest generation of Anthony Joshua, Shannon Courtenay and Shannon Ryan. Aside from the physical and fitness aspects, it is a brilliant sport for harnessing energy, focus and brainpower. Thanks to Saud's efforts and the grant received, West Herts ABC will have the opportunity to improve upon their existing services.”

Saud Hafiz, said: “I was born and bred in Watford, spending most of my childhood time on the Radlett Road Estate. Life was hard at times; my trials and tribulations began from the age of 12 when my father passed away. Thankfully, boxing opened a pathway of confidence, courage, and a sense of belonging. The discipline and sacrifices involved were huge, but it made me who I am today, a winner.

“I want to help our community in getting people from all walks of life to dream it, believe it and achieve it! It doesn't matter if you've been beaten or if you've failed. All that matters is you get back up and try again because winning is fun, but winning when nobody thought you would is remarkable. It all starts here at West Herts ABC and thanks to the grant we can offer boxing to even more people.”

The next round of funding for the Neighbourhood Grant is now open. To find out more, including this year’s projects, please visit www.watford.gov.uk/community. The programme funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) from developers of new housing, operates annually to mitigate the effects of development and enhance the local community's sustainable growth.

Published: 9th July 2024

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