Dagenham Boxing Club returns to full competitive action

Harry Carter seals his first victory in 16 months, with Coaches Sean, Dennis and Dan

Harry Carter seals his first victory in 16 months, with Coaches Sean, Dennis and Dan - Credit: Dagenham BC

After 16 months of Covid restrictions preventing boxers from taking part in any contests, Dagenham Boxing Club finally made a return to competition with a well deserved win for Harry Carter.

The Daggers Boxing Gym was closed for long periods - with lockdown after lockdown forcing them to close their doors.

Training was switched to online Zoom sessions for long periods, and then the club started to rebuild with outdoor boxing sessions at Parsloes Park, when the weather permitted.

When they were eventually able to return to the gym sessions were very very strictly managed, with numerous new measures introduced to keep members safe during the pandemic.

Some of the measures meant reduced group sizes, and an increase on session deliveries to cater for members.

A ‘Health & Safety Executive’ approved Risk Assessment was designed and agreed through the local Authority and governing body England Boxing, and a new cleaning/sanitising rota was introduced, with continuous cleaning of all areas in the gym, including all equipment used.

Track and Trace was also introduced, along with a new floor plan, which kept everyone two metres apart. Coaches were required to were face visors, masks, rubber gloves and aprons when carrying out any one-to-one coaching, and sparring was suspended until April this year.

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A club statement said: "Trying to keep our boxers active and engaged was a tough task as socially distanced boxing just doesn’t work well at all, but our coaches adapted their deliveries to work within new operating procedures, and this has led directly to virtually all of our boxers returning to the Daggers Boxing Gym.

"Since our gradual return, in April, our club numbers have once again grown, and we are now compiling waiting lists for prospective new members.

"Thankfully, we were able to access several vital pots of community funding, including Sport England, NCIL, the Anthony Joshua Fund, and we were also awarded a Rates grant for our closures.

"This funding has enabled us to stay afloat, and we can now look to build on our foundations.

"A busy period of ‘catch-up’ boxing lays ahead with championships getting underway in September for all age/weight groups in the 2021 season, and then repeated again from February 2022.

"Our championship prospects were our priority throughout the difficult times, and it was the championship boxers who led the way at the Guildford City Boxing Club show, at the Aggie Club, Guildford."

Harry Carter celebrates his victory upon his return to action

Harry Carter celebrates his victory upon his return to action - Credit: Dagenham BC

Carter was matched with Noah Lee (St Ives Boxing Academy), with both having their first taste of competition since March 2022.

The pair were very evenly matched, with southpaw Lee edging the first round with flashy backhands.

But Carter turned up the pressure in the second round, and went up another gear to win the bout via a 4-1 verdict, with a solid third round. He can look forward to the Junior Championships, which commence in October.

Clubmate Amaan Mohammad took his bout at 48 hours notice and gave an excellent account of himself, despite dropping a 3-2 verdict to Herbie Jackson (Guildford City BC).

Another very well-matched pair, switching from orthodox to southpaw regularly, saw both landing plenty of leather.

And Jackson’s hand was raised after a bout which could have been decided on the flip of a coin.

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