Boxing clubs across Kent are appealing for support during the coronavirus crisis.
Clubs affiliated to England Boxing - the sports national governing body - are running a #KOCOVID19 campaign to raise much-needed funds.
The British Boxing Board of Control recently extended their suspension of the game up until the end of May.
Clubs are closed, but bills still need to be paid, and the public have already been digging deep. Over £3,000 has already been donated to the clubs across Kent but they need more.
England Boxing say: “Clubs up and down the country who give fantastic service to their respective communities have been forced to close their doors until further notice, putting a tremendous financial strain on a number of them.
"That puts at risk the fantastic community work they do on a daily basis, teaching thousands of people, often in England’s most disadvantaged areas, to box.
"A host of clubs also take on additional vitally important projects concerning mental health, Parkinson’s, knife and gang crime, holiday hunger, inclusion, extremism and education, to name just a few.”
Clubs are appealing to the public – family, friends, members of the local community and local businesses – to give as much as they can, with no amount too small.
More than 80 around the country have joined the campaign, including 10 from Kent.
Finley Andrews is one of those to have donated to Ashford Boxing Club, saying: “The club has played a major part in helping individuals gain confidence, discipline, fitness and self respect. A massive thank you to the coaches who give there valuable time and knowledge for free.”
They are looking to raise £1,000 and are well on their way.
Boxing Stables, in Longfield, were formed in 2017 and have got a target of £2,500. They said: “The club does not want to become another victim of the pandemic and therefore is reaching out to the community for assistance.
“We really do appreciate that this is a tough time for all but any donation you can give will go towards making sure that the children have a boxing club to come back too.”
City Boxing are based in Canterbury and a donation of £100 has boosted their total as they aim for £1,000.
Hornets Boxing Club, in Ramsgate, have asked their members if they can continue to donate their training fees while they are closed for business.
Maidstone ABC are looking to raise £2,000 while Sheerness’ based Minster Golden Gloves are also taking part in the campaign and one of their members has taken to social media to help raise awareness.
Sandwich ABC have been helped by a generous donation of £250 and say: “We understand it's very hard times for everyone. Anything would be much appreciated.”
Tenterden ABC and St Mary’s in Chatham are both also looking for donations, as are another Medway club, Strood ABC.
Avoen Perryman is among many to have donated, saying: “Keep up the good work Strood ABC, a lovely club doing lots for their local community.”
Strood have produced their own video promoting the campaign.
England Boxing have delayed the start of the new season until at least September 1 and in a bid to help, they are reducing membership fees by 50%.
Boxers who have medicals that are set to expire can defer them until the end of September.