North Road Gym Boxing Show 28th October 2016
I have been filming and photographing the fighters at North Road Gym for a few months now. The morality of boxing is a contentious issue, especially with the death of professional boxer Mike Towell less than a month ago. With this project I hope to expel some of the myths and show, at least the local population, the positives of their local boxing club.
I don’t need to try hard at all to find positives at North Road Gym, who run junior and senior training sessions four nights a week. The hour and a half sessions are packed with incredibly fit, motivated individuals, both male and female, who would rather be there getting fit than out on the streets drinking or worse.
The junior training sessions use exercises and activities that are enjoyable, the senior training sessions push everyone to their limits. I know, I tried and my limits were pushed long before the rest of the group were.
I guess when I first started the project, there was some expectation of young lads fulfilling the ideals of pushy fathers, forcing them into something they didn’t want to do. Thats what many would want you to believe. But that is not how it is at all. Without exception all of the fighters (ultimately that is what they are) are inspiring. They are fit, healthy and motivated, there aspire to do something better, to achieve. All of that would not be possible if the coaches were not motivated as well. To some the coaches have been mentors in life not just in the gym.
It’s not just the fighters and the coaches that are motivated, it is also the parents, friends and families. With the threat of sale by the landlord, they all pulled together to raise funds to buy the building.
On Friday 28th October North Road Gym held the first of their annual shows. A packed out Stanley Civic Hall played host to clubs from all around the area, for eighteen fights, all under the watchful eye of medical staff, a Doctor, judges and a referee. The fighters are all incredibly supportive of each other, polite, grateful for the opportunity.