Scrappers Gym celebrates its fifth anniversary

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Scrappers Boxing Gym and Community Fitness Centre celebrates its fifth anniversary this week.

To celebrate their five-year landmark Scrappers will be staging a boxing exhibition with refreshments on Tuesday from 7pm.

Scrappers patron and Swindon boxing legend Ricky Porter will be attending the celebration along with fitness trainers Paul Rogers, Steven Cooney and kick-boxing trainer Andy Brown.

The Langley Road gym is managed by the Swindon Children’s Scrapstore, a local registered charity and is open to all members of the public aged five and above.

Scrappers opened back in 2011 situated at the old Farepack Hampers Site in Bridgemead Business Centre.

However, in 2013 Scrappers were forced to relocate with the manager of the 24HR Gym, Vern Montgomery, providing one of his rooms free of charge.

That room eventually proved too small and the gym was moved downstairs to a larger building on the same site where Scrappers has called home ever since.

The gym now provides a whole host of fitness related activities and also caters for local disadvantaged young people aged 12-25 as well as low income communities in the Toothill and Westlea areas of Swindon.

P1220165Over the years Scrappers have recruited more volunteers to provide support for head boxing coaches Paul Rogers and Steve Cooney as well as welcomed professional boxing stars such as Kelly Morgan and two-time world champion Nathan Cleverley.

Scrappers has also developed links with local schools such as Lydiard Park Academy, Swindon Academy and Nova Hreod School providing non-contact Boxing Skills classes during PE lessons and delivering a structured skills programme for the young people.

Women’s boxing sessions also take place as well as Box Skills sessions for children between the ages of 5-13 years-old.

Scrapstore project manager Olivia McCann said: “We provide an affordable, safe, supportive and welcoming environment at Scrappers Gym reducing isolation and increasing participation.

“This is a fantastic project and provides opportunities for local people who cannot afford to go to commercial gyms, to get fit and learn from professional qualified and experienced trainers.”

Head boxing coach, Paul Rogers said: “The reason I got involved in coaching boxing initially was to put something back into a sport that changed many aspects of my life for the better.

“People often use the word respect and for me boxing taught me to respect how my actions impacted on others.

“My parents had installed good manners and honesty, however there was nothing like the discipline that boxing teaches you.

“Watching adults and children reach their true potential in life is very rewarding. Releasing energy through sport is powerful.”

For more information about Scrappers Gym or the Scrapstore project email olivia@scrapstore.co.uk or paulrogersboxing@gmail.com