Fight club earns mums’ respect

Frank Harrington (front right) with trainers and boxers at the Red Rose Community Centre.

Frank Harrington (front right) with trainers and boxers at the Red Rose Community Centre.

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Proud mums have praised a West End boxing gym for turning their kids into little angels.

Kandice Gardner and Lisa Harcourt said their sons’ lives have been transformed since they began learning to box at the Red Rose Community Centre.

Both mums have credited boxing coach Frank Harrington and his team of volunteers for teaching their lads self-control and discipline.

Single mum-of-three Kandice was having problems with her 14-year-old son Jordan until he went to the West End Road club.

She said: “He got kicked out of schools left, right and centre and was constantly in isolation.

“He used to slam doors, kick things, now there’s none of that at home. Coming here totally changed him.

“The discipline is fantastic. Frank is like a dad to 
Jordan. He’s learned to control his temper and doesn’t get into arguments at school.

“Now he’ll leave the room, come back in and apologise.”

Lisa Harcourt’s two boys Kane, 13, and Blaze Havoc 
also train at the club.

Seven-year-old Blaze is the youngest of the 40 boxers on the club’s books.

“My husband Gav and I like boxing and Blaze likes (Morecambe boxing star) Tyson Fury, because he’s got an unusual name too,” said Lisa.

“Kane used to be in at home every night on his XBox and didn’t go out. He gave this a try and now he’s gaining confidence and self-esteem.

“People think, urgh, boxing, but boxing is about exercise, fitness and meeting people. All the kids get on.

“There’s nothing for kids to do around here so I think this place is good for the whole of Morecambe.

“I don’t want my son on the streets.”

Frank Harrington, owner of the Red Rose centre, and fellow trainers Lee Woodruff and Kurtis Murphy, have just qualified as Amateur Boxing 
Association (ABA) Level 1 coaches.

Mr Harrington, an ex-professional boxer, said: “All I want to do is push things forward and get the kids to where they should be in life.

“Jordan’s a great kid. He’s the first to arrive and the last to leave.

“Blaze spars with a nine-year-old lad and they’re brilliant.

“Kane has come on a lot.”

Frank and his team have also worked with youngsters with more serious issues.

“We’ve had lads in who are drug addicts, who have mental health problems, drink problems, and we’ve turned them around’” he said.

“The West End is one of the most deprived areas in the country and I want to produce some good amateur boxers from this area.”

The Red Rose Community Centre also runs a programme of fitness and martial arts classes, personal training programmes, and beauty, sports and massage courses.

It isopen from 9am 
to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 2pm at weekends.

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