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Two clubs run across their ideal new home
TWO sports clubs on Oxford’s biggest estate are hoping they have found the answer to their housing crisis.
Both the Blackbird Leys Boxing Club and Independent Working Class Association Athletics Club are on the hunt for a home to call their own.
After months of searching, they have stumbled upon an abandoned clubhouse off Grenoble Road.
But now they need to find out who owns it so they can find out if it can solve their problems.
IWCA Athletics Club coach Stuart Craft said: “It is a wonderful clubhouse for the purposes of both our clubs.
“Apparently Oxford United used to use it for their training but the grass is chest high now and, speaking to residents, no one has used it for years.
“It is a crying shame that such a space is empty on the estate when local clubs are crying out for somewhere to use.”
The IWCA Athletics Club engages dozens of local young people and adults in outdoor sport each week.
Mr Craft said: “Between us we have got enough tradesmen and able bodies to be able to transform a place like this.”
The Blackbird Leys Amateur Boxing Club, one of the oldest organisations on the estate, has been hunting for a new home for the past few years.
It has been based upstairs at the Blackbird Leys Community Centre for the past 30 years but coaches say the room is too small for the ever-expanding club.
The boxing club trains more than 50 people each week but currently has to dismantle all its equipment, including the ring, after every session.
Head coach Tony Gibson said: “The clubhouse is pretty big and there is a big field, which is all overgrown.
“It would be perfect. We just keep wandering round the estate, trying to find somewhere to go.”
Despite a hunt for the owner of the building, the organisations have been unable to find out who owns it, but are keen to discuss their plans.
Do you know who owns the clubhouse? Contact reporter Rhianne Pope on 01865 425411 or firstname.lastname@example.org