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Boxing club needs Emirates Stadium style sponsorship

PUBLISHED: 14:17 13 April 2015 | UPDATED: 16:00 13 April 2015

Mr Hagland collects an award with Mayor of Islington Cllr Theresa Debono (left) and Gazett editor Aimee Brannen

Mr Hagland collects an award with Mayor of Islington Cllr Theresa Debono (left) and Gazett editor Aimee Brannen

Archant

Much loved gym ready to ape Arsenal by selling naming right for their new home

One of the borough’s best-loved sporting institutions wants an Emirates Stadium style naming deal for their new home.

Islington Boxing Club was formed in 1974, but has spent the last 35 years in converted portakabins on Hazelville Road, Hornsey Rise, which used to be site offices when building the nearby Elthorne Estate.

The club have made it a very successful home, but the building was only meant to last a few years, and Lenny Hagland, boss of the gym, is worried one day soon it will give up the ghost.

He said: “We’ve been in these portakabins since 1980. We bought them from the council for £50.

“When the estate was finished they didn’t need them anymore, so we stepped in. We turned it into a gym and the rest is history, if you like.

“But its a temporary building and should have taken down early in the 80s.

“There will come a time when it will fall down around us.”

The club has been negotiating with the council who have agreed to lease them the land at a ‘peppercorn’ rent for another century.

“We’ll be on the site for 99 more years,” said Mr Hagland. “That’s enough to see me out at least.

“Now that’s nearly sorted, we need a new building. Something similar to what we have now, but about double the size - in height at least.

“Realistically its going to cost £3.5million, and we need help.

“We need to get funding streams - but to kick things off we need a private company to get involved. Maybe a local one that’s done well and can get us started with some investment.

“We’re willing to give them the naming rights for the new building - so if we were like Arsenal, it would be the Emirates Boxing Gym.

“Then we can get match funding and keep the club moving forward, looking to the future.”

Mr Hagland was recently handed a gong at the Mayor’s civic awards for his tireless work with the borough’s young people.

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “They club does such a great job and Lenny is such a great guy.

“Boxing clubs do a really important role, teaching discipline to young people and channelling aggression, and Islington Boxing Club is particularly relevant at the moment.


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