I bought the building to save my club!

Mike Keane
Mike Keane

A local boxing coach took some drastic action when his club was under threat of demolition - he bought the building!

Mike Keane, senior coach at Kingdom Boxing Club since it started 25 years ago, said the whole future of the club was in jeopardy had the building on Kirkcaldy’s Rosslyn Place been knocked down.

One of Scotland’s most respected boxing coaches, he will be working with the national squad at next year’s Commonwealth Games.

He said: “I’m delighted to have done the deal. It’s a relief to know that we’re safe.”

When the club first started it was at boys’ clubs in Templehall but became so popular it moved to its current location near Fife Ice Arena, but Mike was never able to secure a long-term lease.

He said: “I was always on a short-term lease then I heard that the owner had got permission to knock it down.

“The land was going to be used to build five or six houses, so I approached the owner and did a deal to buy it myself.”

As national coach for the Scottish and Commonwealth boxing teams Mike’s role at the amateur club has always been strictly on a voluntary basis, and he says that since its formation it has always been busy as well as extremely successful, producing district or national champions in every year of its existence.

“At any time we might have up to 40 using the club,” he said.

“There’s a high turnover as there’s a kids class as well as a senior.

“It varies – there are quiet periods from time to time, but in the main it’s steady. I think we’ve had almost everyone from the Gallatown in here at some stage!”

With the building finally secured Mike says the hard work can now begin on bringing it up to date.

He said: “Now what we need to do is some major renovation.

“The roof needs done and there’s no heating. You need to work hard to stay warm!

“When we first moved in it was just a shell so we have done a fair bit to it, but I was never able to do the major work that it needs.

“In the past I’ve been hampered in trying to secure funding for repairs as no-one wanted to fund someone on a series of short-term leases, in case it ended up being knocked down, which is understandable.

“Now that I own the building myself I’m reasonably confident that I’ll be able to attract some sponsorship and can apply for various grants that we should be able to get.

“The uncertainty over the club’s future is now gone and I’m really pleased.”