September 18 2014 Latest news:
Lorraine King, News editor
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Former boxing world champion Amir Khan returned to a sports club in Stonebridge yesterday three years after it fought off a closure threat.
The 27-year-old paid a visit to Stonebridge Boxing Club, in Kassinga House, Winchelsea Road, to help celebrate its knock out progress since 2011.
The club offers a host of sporting activities for the community including fitness classes, boxing sessions for youngsters and martial art lessons.
Harlesden boxer and former Olympic gold medallist James DeGale trains at the club twice a week.
Mr Khan, a light welterweight fighter, said: “I’m delighted to come back to the club and see the great work they are continuing to do in the community.
“It’s really important to have facilities like this in Brent so young people have something to do and not get involved with gangs and drugs.
I’m really impressed with the work the club is doing in the area and helping to make a difference.”
The club, which was set up by Aamir Ali from Wembley, and his former boxing coach and life-long friend Sharon Bennett, known as Ben, was at the brink of closing through a lack of funding and troubles with its landlord.
However after the Times publicised their plight Sauerland Events, the biggest boxing promoters in Europe, stepped in and have funded the club ever since.
Mr Ali said: “Amir was really impressed and I’m glad he came back to show the kids that if you put the hard work and determination in you will gain something.
“He was really impressed with the club and that was inspiring to the kids. We are a thriving club and are doing really well.
“The club is open to the whole community and all are welcome.”
Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala, councillor the Stonebridge ward, added: “It was fantastic to have Amir Khan Visit the club again.
“He was really great with the kids talking to them about the importance of staying away from gangs and focussing on keeping fit and working hard. He even showed them some of his great skills and what it takes to be a world champion.
“I’d like to say a special thanks to Amir and the Brent & Kilburn Times for all the support they gave to keep the club open.”
For more information about the club visit www.stonebridgeboxingclub.org.