A Cambuslang boxing clubare looking for new premises so they can continue to offeryoungsters an alternative toanti-social behaviour.
O’Neil’s are currently based at Westburn Community Hall. But they want to move to a bigger facility to accommodate their growing number of members.
Last week, the club was visited by Rutherglen MSP James Kelly and Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Tom Greatrex.
At a time when the Halfwayarea has been blighted by acrime spree, club coaches Andy Clayton, Scott Spence and Sandy Williamson told the politicians that O’Neil’s provide kids with a fantastic alternative to crime.
A group of youngsters who may have been tempted bygangs from Halfway, Westburnand the Caledonian Circuit wereintroduced to the Labour pair,who were able to see thecamaraderie between the lads.
The politicians were impressed by the discipline of the members and saw first-hand the desperate need for larger premises.
The club coaches said the boys were no longer rivals but “part of an extended family.”
Coach Andy Clayton said: “The club is open to everyone in the surrounding area and we don’t tolerate bad behaviour.
“The boys come in here and learn to play by the rules andthat stays with them when they walk back out the door.
“I just hope we can find the right premises toaccommodate the growingnumbers at our club.”
Boxing fan Mr Kelly took theopportunity to spar with risingstar Chuck Obiora.
A keen fitness fanatic, James reckons the club are helping to break down territorial rivalrybetween local youths.
He said: “It’s quite clear inseeing the facilities that this is a great activity which takes kids off the street and involves them in something positive.
“It creates a proper diversion and the promotion of activities like this will help tackle someof the unfortunate incidentswe have seen in the area inrecent weeks. I really enjoyed my visit. It was great to see the enthusiasm of all the youngsters at the club who are well-supported by the coaches and volunteers.”
Kelly now hopes the club will be able to move to bigger premises.
He said: “The popularity ofthe club means the trainingfacilities are now a bit crowded. I strongly support their efforts to try and move to bigger premises that will allow them to expandand provide greater facilities for the youngsters.”