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Invicta Gym boxing coach Ray Askew says club in race against time to find a new home to replace Rushenden Gateway community centre

By Luke Cawdell
Ray Askew, right, with Adam Dingsdale. Askew is looking for a new venue with the Invicta Gym's base, the Rushenden Community Centre, set to be demolished Picture: Steve Crispe

Sheppey’s top boxers are about to be left without a proper training venue.

The soon-to-be-demolished Rushenden Gateway community centre is home to the Invicta Gym.

Chief instructor Ray Askew and his team of aspiring professionals, which includes Gavin Tait and up-and-coming talents like Dave Jones, have until August to find a new venue.

Plans to demolish the community centre as part of the Queenborough and Rushenden masterplan were approved in March. The land is to be used for the building of up to 250 homes.

Invicta Gym are now running short of time to find a new facility. Askew is desperate for a suitable base but says finding the right venue at the right price is not easy.

“It’s terrible news that we have to leave,” said the head coach, who has been running the gym since 1982. “We’re in a bit of a predicament because we were left with just six months to find a new venue.

“At this end of the professional game, we are working on a limited budget but we’ve still managed to have a great deal of success in the past. We need a proper, permanent gym to continue that.

"If anyone has something they can offer us, where we won’t be at risk of being slung out soon, we would love to hear from them – sooner rather than later.”

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