Fighting talk from boxing hero Cesay

A FORMER British amateur boxing champion is desperate for financial assistance to help him run his extremely popular community gym in Canning Town, writes MATT DINER. Tony Cesay runs classes for anyone interested in boxing at the TKO gym in Stephenson Str

A FORMER British amateur boxing champion is desperate for financial assistance to help him run his extremely popular community gym in Canning Town, writes MATT DINER.

Tony Cesay runs classes for anyone interested in boxing at the TKO gym in Stephenson Street, but with no funding, money is a concern for the former Commonwealth Games competitor.

"I get no money from anywhere, so we are struggling to keep it going financially," he said.

"I do charge kids a small fee, but that money goes straight back into keeping the place running."


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Cesay began by opening up his garage as a gym for youngsters to train in, but when the popularity swelled he went to the Beckton forum. They initially helped him with funding, but when that dried up, he made the move to Canning Town.

"We probably get 70 kids a week coming here and since 2000 when we first started doing this we have had 3,725 who have accessed the course and a lot of them have gone on to further education," he added.

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Cesay does not make any money himself from the venture, but has great belief in what he is doing for the local community.

"Boxing is a wonderful tool to educate, it teaches discipline and respect," he smiled.

"I have lived in the area for 24 years now and I just wanted to put something back into the community.

"We have one kid called Davis O'Hara from Hackney who used to do drugs, he has changed his life coming here and he is unbeaten.

"This experience for me has been so rewarding and I have seen so many positives.

"My buzz used to be winning medals, but for coaching these kids is a bigger buzz. People come here to box and to be educated.

"Some kids come in here and they don't know the importance of diet, so we teach nutrition, a lot of them don't know what is good for them."

His efforts have earned a boxing accreditation and Cesay is starting to take his work to schools in the borough.

"We have gone to Cumberland and Kingsford schools to help and we work with troubled kids there," he said.

"It has been a great success and it would be great to continue it."

The classes run for infants on Tuesday between 5pm and 6pm, with the teenagers from 6pm until 9pm.

They also run Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 1pm. If you are interested in sponsoring the scheme contact Harry Dolyle on 07590 551543 or e-mail: harry.doyle@live.com.

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