The sport of boxing is often one portrayed in a negative light. People can see boxing clubs as places that encourage violence and fighting, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
One local club tucked away behind the crown court in Caernarfon is the Caernarfon Amateur Boxing Club or the Caernarfon ABC for short. The club was set up in 1993 by Ian Owen from Caernarfon and will be celebrating it’s 30th anniversary next year.
But like most sports it has faced a turbulent time in recent years with covid affecting the day-to-day running of the group. However, this hasn’t stopped them, with six young members from the local area all about to take part in an international tournament in Monkstown, Ireland from the 23rd to the 26th of June.
READ MORE: Some of the most ‘dangerous’ rural roads in North Wales are in Gwynedd
Ian still leads the club, assisted by several volunteer coaches and assistants who give their time to offer these kids a chance to learn to box. Delme Davies, who recently picked up his own coaching qualifications, started coming to the club when his twin sons Meilir and Morgan joined two and a half years ago, and the twins are now among the six boys set to take part in the upcoming tournament.
Speaking about the club and Ian, Delme said: “His passion is the boxing, he knows what he’s doing and he does a good job. We’re all here to do it for the lads, to produce real quality.”
The club, which offers training for range of age groups from around the area, has been a lifeline for many young boys in the area who otherwise would not have access to these resources and training opportunities. Delme added: “We’re here so those kids have a chance, there’s not many opportunities like this round here.”
Peblig ward councillor Dewi Jones spoke about the club, saying: “The volunteers at the club do fantastic work and are a big asset to the community. It’s really important that young people are given as many different experiences as possible when growing up, it’s great to see our young people being able to take part in sporting events like this”.
The key event the club is raising funds towards is for the upcoming tournament in Ireland, it’ll be the first time the club has been able to attend since 2019 when they took home two gold medals at the tournament. This year six boys from the club between 12 and 15 years old are seeking to replicate that success.
Rhys Sykes, 13, is one of the boys taking part in the tournament, having been a member of the club for three years he’s now also helping to coach some of the younger boys. “The fact that we trust him to coach says a lot about him.” says Delme “he’s committed, he helps out with the juniors and he trains with the seniors as well.”
Rhys was also pretty confident about his success in the upcoming tournament, thanks to opportunities the club has provided to him. “The club is really good for all the lads, it helps bring them out of their shell” Delme added.
What do you think about the work Caernarfon ABC are doing? Let us know in the comments.
This has certainly come to be true for the club as among the boxers who have been trained at the club are former Welsh champion David Florence of Tregarth and 17-year-old Ryan Owen of Penygroes, who spent five years as Welsh champion. Now, the club is hoping to get back to this level of success by following up the upcoming Irish tournament with more in Manchester and Birmingham.
Meilir and Morgan are also beginning to make a name for themselves, the notion of twin boxers is already sweeping across the North Wales scene, with boxers from other clubs visiting to see the boys in action. The other three boys, Theo Philips 12, Guto Owen 15 and Morgan Llwyd 13 are also all ready to go, if their clear skill in the ring is anything to go by.
The club is welcoming any assistance to help get the boys to Ireland, with clothing, food and other supplies having already been donated to help the lads on their way, paint has also been donated by ( ). If you’d like to donate towards helping the club reach the tournament, you can do so here.