My other life…Crawley Amateur Boxing Club

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Some of you may not be aware but in my spare time, I help run the Crawley Amateur Boxing Club. Crawley Amateur Boxing Club is based in Three Bridges. It is run wholly by volunteers and is a registered charity. My husband Rees is the Chairman. There are around 100 members ranging from eight years old to adults. There are classes held five evenings a week.

A club with over 50 years of history

The club was founded in 1960 shortly after Crawley was chosen as development as one of the 'new towns' after the second world war and a group of local enthusiasts got together to form the club. The club started life in a wartime Nissan hut in Tilgate Forest before moving to the old library near Crawley train station (now an office block).

In 1985 the club moved to its current site which is one of the few purpose-built boxing gyms in the South East. The building is called 'The Arthur Hopcraft Gymnasium' - named after my husband's grandfather, who was one of the founders.

The club has produced many amateur champions over the years, and some have gone on to be professionals. The most famous of which is Alan Minter, who won the bronze medal at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich and went on to win the undisputed middleweight championship of the world in Las Vegas in 1980. Alan was the club president for many years.

The club today

The club survives on boxers’ subscriptions and donations, and from boxing shows which are held around twice a year.

We have many kids who come to our classes two/three times a week and the membership costs are kept low as we like to open our doors to everyone and costs can now become very expensive for all sports. For the junior members from the age of 8, we like to ensure the sessions are based on games, fitness, and discipline.

We recently held a gym show at the Goffs park social club which involved 16 bouts and over 150 spectators so as you can imagine this can involve a lot of time organizing and not to mention counting the door sales money (my job!) These shows generate funds to keep the club going and make sure we have up to date equipment and great facilities for our members.

If you’re involved in boxing, you’ve probably heard it called the “Sweet Science.” With history as old as civilization itself and a set of rules that ensures its purity, it is one of the most beautiful sports in the world.

While some will classify it as barbaric or brutal, boxers and boxing fans know that this sport is a dance and an art. The casual spectator, the one who sees only the violence, cannot understand what really makes boxing special. Here are a few of the reasons why:

  • Requires Focus
  • Puts an emphasis on discipline
  • No other sport is as physically demanding
  • Promotes self-control and self- governance
  • A battle of wills, not just strength
  • Least discriminatory sport in the world
  • Teaches individuals to use their negative emotions in positive ways
  • Encourages Balance

About the Author

A picture of Jenny Hopcraft, the author of this blog

Jenny Hopcraft

Finance Manager

Jenny is the Finance Manager at Optima Systems. She is responsible for managing the day to day Finances which involves a varied role of book-keeping, invoicing, credit control, VAT submissions, payroll, managing cashflow. More about Jenny.

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