A GYM is celebrating after receiving affiliation to become the first Amateur Boxing Club in a village’s history.

Rainhill Forge ABC, which runs out of Forge Fitness on Warrington Road, Rainhill, has been officially recognised by England Boxing.

The gym has been a part of the village for many years being run by owner Gary Crickson.

The venue has also been heavily involved in charity work. And in early 2019 Gary returned to work, after having to spend three months recovering from a sudden stroke he suffered from aged 43.

Gary said the process required for the gym to receive its affiliation was lengthy and took more than two years of hard work and dedication from all involved to make it happen.

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He said: “Due to Covid the process of affiliation was longer than anticipated however the bulk of the work involved to become affiliated was down to head boxing coach Alan Mulcahy and we are so grateful for all his efforts.

"It means so much having Alan on our team in his role as head coach as he is the son of my former coach, the legendary Dave Mulcahy, who ran Higherside ABC, ask anyone in amateur boxing in the last 30 years and they will have known who Dave was, he brought through some fantastic champions and it feels a fitting tribute to him ”.

Rainhill Forge ABC will run alongside the current fitness timetable offered by Forge Fitness.

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“We have been astounded by the level of support from existing members of our fitness classes who have stepped up and taken on voluntary roles for the ABC, such as safeguarding officers, committee members etc and it really has brought the team even closer together," added Gary.

Gary says having an amateur boxing club in the local area has a positive impact for the youth of the community.

“Boxing gives youth such focus, imparts discipline and keeps them active in a positive environment."

Also, in light of the recent case of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch during a match at the recent European Championships, Forge Fitness member Gemma Louise took it upon herself to raise funds to purchase a defibrillator for the gym.

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Gary said: “Gemma was on a mission to ensure that we secured funds to enable us to purchase this life-saving piece of equipment – she set up a Justgiving page and has organised a sponsored climb of Snowden for September 4 with other Forge members getting on board – she has been relentless in her efforts and we are pleased to say we have smashed the target of £1500 – and will be able to purchase the defibrillator from The Oliver King Foundation in the near future”.

This will mean there will be an additional defibrillator in the community of Rainhill which can be accessed in the event of an emergency. The defibrillator will be housed within Forge Fitness, 456 Warrington Road, Rainhill, L35 9JE.