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Former world boxing champ sees things get heated at Bognor ABC

Johnny Nelson got a great welcome at Bognor ABC when he went to assist with a new boiler being installed

With a boiler upgrade becoming an urgent need for one of the UK’s oldest heritage boxing clubs, Bognor ABC was given a huge boost following a donation by heating leaders Worcester Bosch of a new installed heating system. To celebrate, former world champion boxer Nelson paid a visit to the club to lead a one-of-a-kind training session with several of the club’s members.

Run completely by fully trained volunteers, all of whom are qualified England Boxing coaches, Bognor ABC provides a safe world-class space to help young people in the community improve their development in and outside of physical health.

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Upon being granted new premises, the club’s existence was put into jeopardy when Covid hit, and, in need of a new boiler yet without the funds to get one,

The Warming Your Community scheme, launched in July 2021, was set up to support community pillars such as this, with several further donations planned for the rest of this year – coinciding with Worcester Bosch’s 60th anniversary.

To celebrate the boiler installation, former boxer – the longest reigning world cruiserweight champion – Nelson paid a visit to the club, making the most of the opportunity to meet volunteers, the Worcester Bosch team, and the aspiring future generations of boxers, as well as touring the club before getting stuck into a training session with club members and holding a brilliant Q&A.

Local installer Kev Wellings assisted with the boiler fit. Of the project, he said: “After years of installing Worcester Bosch heating systems, I’m glad that through their Warming Your Community initiative I’ve been able to support Bognor Amateur Boxing Club with a new heating system following a breakdown.

“Bognor ABC does such great work for the area, particularly for the kids, teaching them confidence, discipline and the value of hard work. I’m therefore happy to be able to give something back to an institution at the heart of local communities.”

Nelson said: “I had a brilliant time with the members of Bognor Amateur Boxing Club last week. I know from personal experience the benefits a boxing club can provide for young people. Clubs like this one in Bognor not only help young people develop in the sport and help keep them physically healthy, but also the chance to come together with like-minded individuals and grow socially.

“It’s great to see wider support for clubs like this which are so crucial to young people in the community. I wish the club all the best for the future.”

Paul Mason, lead coach of Bognor Amateur Boxing Club, said: “It was truly amazing to have Johnny attend the installation of our donated Worcester Bosch boiler this week, and stage a session for our members.

“His story will inspire so many of our young members, who learned even more about the holistic benefits of boxing. Thank you to the Worcester Bosch team for helping to keep our club alive and for facilitating this wonderful event – ​​we look forward to many more years of supporting our community!”

Sue Pennington, Corporate Communication Manager at Worcester Bosch, said: “At Worcester Bosch we are honored to have supported Bognor Amateur Boxing Club through our donation, and to have attended this week’s event with Johnny Nelson in celebration of the initiative and our 60th birthday.

“We hope that the event inspires the club’s young athletes as much as it inspires us, and we are excited to see the club continue to warm the local community.”

Bognor Amateur Boxing Club in Bognor Regis is a true heritage site in the boxing world, as the oldest amateur boxing club in Sussex and one of the oldest in the UK, with over 100 years’ worth of experience training and coaching young athletes.

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