Britain’s heavyweight world champion and Olympic Gold Medallist Anthony Joshua OBE has given substantial financial backing to the Amateur National boxing federations of England, Wales and Scotland.
AJ said “it’s no secret that without the boxing and the family created around my amateur gym, my life could have been very different”
The money will be distributed directly to clubs in most need of support through the National federations, with an agreement in place that all funding is ring-fenced for the clubs only.
The move comes in an effort to help support the sport that gave him so much, survive the toughest period in its history. Amateur clubs up and down the country have been forced to close their doors during the pandemic with little hope on the horizon.
Often the heart of a community, these clubs have a rich history and proven record in helping both adults and children cope with physical and mental struggles.
Anthony has also taken the opportunity to financially contribute to his own Amateur gym Finchley ABC and gift new training kit. A gift which will also be extended to the regional federations with one of Anthony’s major partners, Under Armour, offering to match Anthony’s financial offer in products.
AJ said “boxing has helped shape me both physically and mentally. The sport has given me a lot and I want to help highlight the issues effecting grass roots clubs and do what I can to keep the lights on for those in need”.
“I would like to thank the Federations of England, Wales and Scotland for their support in helping facilitate how the financial aid reaches the most effected clubs in their regions and also agreeing to make sure the money goes directly to clubs. I am not using this as an opportunity to criticise government for its lack of funding towards boxing, these are unprecedented times, however I would like to use my platform to respectfully ask them to rethink their stance. Without support we will lose community hubs and potentially the stars of tomorrow.”
Gethin Jenkins, Chairman of England Boxing said: “We are delighted to receive, and we thank Anthony for this much needed ﬁnancial support and for drawing attention to the role and support the clubs offer in their local communities and with it the need for greater government support to grass root boxing clubs.
“This is all the more so, given that 40% of our clubs operate in the highest 20% of marginalised areas in the country. We will announce how clubs can access this funding in the coming days and we know it will be gratefully received by the membership so thanks once again for this vital support.”
Colin Metson Chief Executive of Welsh Boxing said: “We are extremely grateful to Mr Joshua for his generosity in supporting Welsh Boxing and our affiliated clubs. Our clubs have suffered significantly during the year, with the restrictions caused by the pandemic causing extensive disruption and loss of gym time, plus the inability to run club shows which generates vital income for the clubs.
“The news of Mr Joshua’s support will be a welcome tonic to our clubs at a time of real need, particularly those clubs in more socially deprived areas. On behalf of all at Welsh Boxing, we would like to say a huge thank you to Anthony Joshua and his team.”
Kevin Bell, Boxing Scotland Chairman said: “On behalf of Boxing Scotland, I would like to thank Anthony and his team for the offer of financial assistance to clubs that will be of great support to the amateur boxing community in this country.
“It is to Anthony’s great credit that he recognises the impact of COVID-19 on amateur boxing, from loss of training among boxers to the inability to host shows that sustain clubs financially. It is also the hallmark of a true world and Olympic champion that he has proactively sought to help amateur boxing – which he acknowledges played a signiﬁcant role in his career – during this ongoing period of uncertainty.”