Eccles Boxing School
The top floor of Bridgewater Mill was a derelict shell when Eccles Boxing School founder Brian Gardner first laid eyes on it. But he saw it had the potential to become something much more, and over the next few years, he fixed it up, got rid of the roosting pigeons, and fitted it out as a boxing gym.
That was 12 years ago. Now it’s a thriving amateur boxing club with a busy timetable of classes for all ages and abilities.
Kids classes are split into five to eight-year-olds, and nine to 13-year-olds. Then there are senior and adult classes, and a family class on Saturdays where all ages can train together. There’s also a female-only class on Tuesdays. Prices are £4 a session for kids, £5 for adults.
The coaches filter out the boxers or potential boxers and they get a class within the class, so the sessions suit those who just enjoy the fitness element of boxing, as well as those who are focused on learning the craft and competing.
Professional boxers who have come up through the ranks here include lightweight Alex Murphy and light heavyweight Anthony Phythian.
It’s one of the few boxing clubs in Manchester to have the Sport England Clubmark accreditation, which stands for higher standards of welfare, equity, coaching and management in community sports clubs.