CORONAVIRUS is just one of a number of reasons why Redditch Boxing Academy has decided to close its doors for the final time.
The Matchborough club was under threat at the tail end of 2019 when the Borough Council announced plans to cut rent support to the voluntary and community sector.
But academy manager Sarah Lee told the Standard that, while the matter wasn’t resolved, it had nothing to do with the club’s eventual closure on September 3.
She said: “No one is at fault. We had a really good relationship with the council right until the end – Coun Matt Dormer even called to say he wanted to rehome us.
“The concessionary rate is not the reason we are closing. The council has always been very honest and open about how the money just isn’t there.
“We want to work with councillors in the future, so we will not be burning any bridges.”
Ms Lee said there are a number of reasons for why the academy is closing, including the age of the building and her ability to keep running the community project.
Voluntary programmes also became difficult to run when government guidelines on social distancing and capacity were introduced.
“The academy was going to be knocked down due to its age, so trying to find somewhere new during this pandemic would have been too financially difficult.
“And on a personal level, I want prioritise spending more time with my children.”
Ms Lee added that community projects are extremely hard to run as while they operate like a business, they often attract less people.
And during the pandemic many of her volunteers were unable to carry on in their previous roles.
“People left in the same way they would do in any business, but the difference is businesses can easily attract more workers.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful people and volunteers who supported the club during its time in the Matchborough centre.”
Academy coach Jamie Chatwin has moved to Redditch Self Defence, based at Phoenix Works on Windsor Road.
He is inviting youngsters who he trained at the boxing club to join him there.