Dale Youth ABC open their new training base in Ladbroke Grove
PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 May 2016
Dale Youth ABC unveiled their new state-of-the-art facility at a grand opening in Ladbroke Grove on Friday.
Widely recognised as one of the most successful boxing clubs at amateur level in the country, Dale Youth have undergone a total refurbishment.
The legendary gym now boasts more rings, punch bags, equipment and changing rooms than ever before, with the enhanced use of technology allowing fighters to look back over their training sessions once completed.
The club have been a success story for more than 85 years, in which time they have produced an Olympic champion, a world champion, European, Commonwealth and British champions and much more.
One of those high-profile graduates to come out of the club is, of course, George Groves, who was invited back for the grand opening.
The 28-year-old, who to this day still holds regular contact with the club, was visibly emotional when giving a speech to the crowd in attendance, explaining the impact the club has had on not just his career, but life.
He later told the Times: “You don’t want to say it at the grand opening, because they’ve spent a lot of money, but Mick [Delaney] and all the other chaps here could do it in an empty car park – no matter what they’ll produce top quality fighters.
“They have that experience, passion, hunger and desire and that’s why they’re so good at what they do.
“It’s a great place to be and I have so many happy memories of my time here.
“There’s some really talented fighters breaking through now, so this investment is only going to aid them further.
“It’s great that these guys can now watch back their training sessions and analyse them, it’s what I’ve only started really doing as a professional, so in that sense they’ve been given a real head start.”
Legendary coach Mick Delaney, who has been at Dale Youth for more than 30 years, says the recent news is a huge boost for the club.
“It’s been six years in the making, but we are delighted that we are finally able to open a new gym,” said Delaney. “It’s a dream come true for all of us at the club.”
Delaney continued: “This will only aid our fighters in the long term and help us continue to help these guys be a success.
“There’s still a few things to be sorted out, so it will be September before we’re in here full time, but that will come soon enough.”
Delaney reserved special praise for Groves, with the pair still maintaining the same close relationship from the latter’s amateur days.
He added: “It was great to have George down, he’s a fantastic lad and has never forgotten his roots.”