Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club is an amateur boxing club based in Manchester providing 22 boxing and fitness sessions a week with no discrimination of age, gender, ethnicity or ability.
There are sports clubs and leisure facilities around Moss Side, however, due to territorial constraints some community members cannot attend certain gyms and the boxing club is perceived as a safe and neutral ground with no gang affiliation.
The boxing gym has a draw to members as it provides them with a level of kudos and “street cred” that other sporting activities fail to do. This draw brings the young people into the club and trainers can then work on making this into a positive and potentially life-changing experience for them.
The club was set up by firefighter Nigel Travis after he spotted an empty space. Previously a boxer, Nigel had a passion for the sport and wanted to get the community involved. The club has gone from strength to strength, originally having one session per week – there are now 22 sessions per week for the local community.
Children at the club were visited as a surprise today. Of the visit, Nigel said: “These people are all professional atheletes so for them to come and give us recognition like that is great, it’s a nice nice reward for the kids and everyone involved.”
As well as getting the community fit and improving their general wellbeing, Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club unites a community which is sometimes torn apart by gang violence. As previously mentioned, boxing is a sport which provides a level of “street cred” and because of this, young people engage and are hopefully encouraged away from gangs and anti-social behaviour.