The Bidgee Boxing community gym had its official opening on Saturday but demand had been so high for the gym’s services that it had already been open for four weeks.
Opening the doors at 9am, the gym was full of kids training hard. There was food aplenty for the opening barbecue lunch, as well as an elaborately decorated cake. Chairman Neville Bamblett said that while the work to get the gym started was done, there was still plenty of energy and effort needed to keep it going.
“It’s the community that’s going to keep this open, keep the doors open – if we don’t have the community behind us then we can’t stay open. In the future, I’d like to be open 10, 20 years from now. I’d love if we could have a fighter in the Olympics.”
According to Mr Bamblett, he is already seeing a positive change for some local kids.
“We’ve had one kid – he’s a kid who I would have said is struggling. He’s the first to arrive in the afternoons and the last one to leave. He’s paid his membership already.”
It’s not just lifting weights and boxing. The committee hopes that they can turn the gym into something that the whole community can use, offering space for classes. There is also a means to find out more about healthy living. Robyn Ryan was at the opening to promote the ‘My Positive Lifestyle Choice’ program, which she hopes people may try to seek out through Bidgee Boxing. Ms Ryan said the program was to promote healthy lifestyle choices and for people to set their own goals.
“When we make goals we always fail. So this is about promoting positive lifestyle choices and to help people to not fail. We have a program here which is five visits. People keep their own books and there’s exercise plans and nutritional information.”
Membership for Bidgee Boxing is currently at a discount for the opening, with a year’s membership only $300 for a limited time. Afterwards, membership rises to $450 a year.
The committee is hoping to sign up more volunteers to help man the gym. Bidgee Boxing committee member Bobbie Hill said she hoped she could get enough volunteers to spread the workload out.
“If we have enough volunteers, we might only need to be calling on people once a month or so,” Ms Hill said.
Volunteer forms can be found at the Bidgee Boxing gym and Serenity Hair.