Revamped Kingdom Boxing Club opens its doors to the community

Kingdom Boxing Club is opening its doors to the local community following a complete renovation of its Kirkcaldy premises.

The 150-year-old building on Seaforth Place was threatened with demolition in 2013 until head coach Mike Keane sold his own home in order to buy the property.

Back (from left) George Forrester, Cllr Neil Crooks, Greig Hopcroft,  Mike Keane, Cllr Alistair Cameron, and front, Cllr Ian Cameron, at the redeveloped Kingdom Boxing Club premises. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Back (from left) George Forrester, Cllr Neil Crooks, Greig Hopcroft, Mike Keane, Cllr Alistair Cameron, and front, Cllr Ian Cameron, at the redeveloped Kingdom Boxing Club premises. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Five years on, and after overcoming numerous hurdles to secure the required funding, the club has been completely refurbished as a modern sports facility for the whole town – not just for boxers.

For club stalwarts George Forrester and Mike Keane, who have been working on the project together for the past three decades, the perseverance has finally paid off.

“We’re installing into boxers to never to give in, so we never considered giving up,” George said.

“It was always the vision myself and Mike had to do something like this when we started out 30 years ago, it’s just one of those passions you have.

Kingdom Boxing Club now has a multi-purpose gym which can be used by the whole community. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Kingdom Boxing Club now has a multi-purpose gym which can be used by the whole community. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

“We’ve never had the time or the money to do it, but we’ve got there now and we’re really happy and quite proud of what we’ve done.”

The refurb was possible thanks to various grants with £12,000 donated by the Weir Charitable Trust, £10,000 from the Big Lottery Awards for all, and £3000 from Coalfields Regeneration.

There was also an £8000 investment from Fife Council, where local councillor Alistair Cameron was a key supporter in his role as chairman of Kirkcaldy & Central Fife Sports Council.

Cllr Cameron said: “The club has been through so many downs in its funding applications, and how they’ve had the perseverance and vision to keep going is so commendable.

“I remember what it was like when I first saw this place five or six years ago, and to see what it is now is totally breathtaking.

“The funding from Fife Council is an investment which is well deserved and the facility is going to be of great benefit to loads of different sporting groups within the area.

“We’ll certainly look to use it for our own sports programmes through the council.

“It’s a hidden gem but an amazing facility and a massive asset for the town.”

The club is now split across two floors with the boxing club located upstairs, complete with a competition-standard ring supplied by sponsors R Lindsay & Co, a company the club is ‘indebted to’, explained George.

On the ground floor, there is a modern multi-purpose gym containing £35,000 worth of new equipment.

There are separate changing facilities for men and women, as well as new toilets, storage areas and lighting, making it an ideal base for any local sports club.

“It took a lot of money, time, blood, sweat and tears, but it’s been worth it,” Mr Forrester added.

“It’s all been done to encourage people to come in, either for boxing or to use the gym to get a bit fitter.

“It’s benefitting the boxing club because our numbers are the highest they’ve ever been. We’ve also got Scottish boxing squad coming here to train now because it’s one of the best equipped gyms in the country.”

Any club or individual interested in finding out more about the facilities on offer at Kingdom Boxing Club should contact George Forrester at kingdomboxingclub@yahoo.com.