Young boxers from North West Wales are getting their careers off on a firm footing thanks to the backing of a Gwynedd-based food wholesaler.
Caernarfon Boxing Club have just received a grant of £800 from the Harlech Foodservice 50th Anniversary Charity Fund towards the cost of new flooring for their gym on the town’s Llanberis Road.
The club was formed 29 years by local man and head coach Ian Owen after a successful amateur career and its Wall of Fame has an impressive roster of Welsh amateur champions, including Ryan Owen who won five successive national titles.
Also up there is the late Martyn ‘Boom Boom’ Poyser, the former British Masters middleweight champion who lost just three times in 19 professional fights but died tragically young of a sleep disorder.
The current crop show plenty of promise too, according to Ian and fellow coaches Sion Davies and Delme Davies, whose twin sons, Meilir and Morgan, aged 12, are among the rising stars.
The cash from the Harlech Foodservice Fund, set up to mark the half century since the firm was founded, will help pay for a new floor of 20 millimetre thick sprung tiles which will provide the perfect surface for the club’s 60-plus regulars to hone their skills.
The fund offers grants totalling £10,000 to good causes, organisations, clubs and charities across Harlech Foodservice’s area of operation in Wales and the border counties.
Delme Davies said: “The grant will make a big difference to us because the new flooring is specially designed and made so that it won’t get slippery.
“The gym has good facilities but this new floor will take it to a different level and the money from Harlech will account for a big chunk of the cost.
“It’s been difficult during the pandemic lockdown because we couldn’t really compete but we’ve kept it going and we’ve had a big event over in Monkstown in Ireland and we’ve got four boxers going to a tournament in Liverpool in January.”
Morgan Davies said: “Boxing is something I really enjoy – it’s about concentration and fitness,” and his brother, Meilir, added: “I enjoy the sparring and would really like to win a Welsh championship.”
Rhys Sykes, 14, a good prospect, according to Ian Owen and who helps with coaching the younger boxers, said: “I won a silver medal in the tournament in Monkstown and I’d like to go to the Welsh Championships next year.
“Boxing is something you never complete. It’s a journey and you’re always learning.”
The grant was handed over to the club by Caren Jones, of Harlech Foodservice, who said: “They have such an impressive set-up here and so many young people take part .
“The club is part of the local community and we’re delighted that we’re able to help them improve their facilities through this important charity fund.”
Harlech Managing Director David Cattrall said: “In the past 50 years we have grown from small beginnings into a major North Wales company with bases in Criccieth and Chester and we couldn’t have done that without the support of our loyal customers across the region.
“Caernarfon Boxing Club are clearly a well-established and deserving local organisation and this is our way of saying thank you to the people of that community by sharing in our success and putting something back into the area which has supported us
“We have had a fantastic response to our setting up of the charity fund and over the coming months we will be looking at the applications we have had and deciding how we can best share out the £10,000.”
Harlech Foodservices was founded by Colin and Gill Foskett above a shop in Harlech in 1972 and now delivers up to 5,000 product lines to cafés, restaurants, pubs and public sector customers across North and Mid-Wales, Shropshire, the Midlands and the North West from its modern bases in Criccieth and Chester.
Colin and Gill’s sons and daughter are still on the board and the third generation of the Foskett family are now among a workforce which has grown steadily as the business has expanded to include NHS Wales, care homes and schools, colleges and universities.
For more on Harlech Foodservices go to https://www.harlech.co.uk/