Boxers strike a blow for morale of troops
A BOXING club has sent parcels to soldiers in Afghanistan to say thanks for keeping the club alive.
Abingdon Town Amateur Boxing Club has been using Dalton Barracks ’ gym for the past eight years free of charge while its boxers have been without a home of their own.
In exchange, soldiers at the base and their families are able to train with the club free of charge.
To show its gratitude the club sent 22 packages on Monday with £200 worth of items, including shower gel, magazines, sweets, energy bars and hand sanitiser.
The gifts will be shared among Abingdon-based troops from 4 Logistic Support Regiment, who have been on a tour of duty in Afghanistan’s Helmand province since March.
Boxing club head coach Robert Southey said he addressed the parcels to Staff Sgt Kevin Adams, who helped members get access to the barracks’ gym twice a week.
Mr Southey said: “Because Kevin is out there, we thought we would send them some parcels as a goodwill gesture for letting us have the gym.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it without him. He’s a good friend as well.
“And if we didn’t have the gym, we wouldn’t be able to train.”
He added: “Hopefully it will be a great morale booster for them – they really appreciate it.”
The club is campaigning to raise £150,000 for a new gym and community centre in South Abingdon but has only raised £30,000 so far.
It is also hoping to raise money to buy mats for the barracks’ gym.
Carrie Adams, 32, the wife of Staff Sgt Adams, 32, said her husband regularly trained at the club before he left for Afghanistan in March.
She said the parcels would be gratefully received, adding: “It will be something nice for them to open up. Anything like that is good for morale out there.”
The club also gave £200 to the Army Benevolent Fund.
The town’s Boots store and the One Stop shop in Wootton Road also donated goods.
Nick Leadbetter, of the Army Benevolent Fund, said: “The parcels convey a morale-boosting message of strong support from the people of Abingdon and the wider country for all our soldiers serving on dangerous and taxing operations overseas.
“The donation will be wisely used to help our veterans, young and old, who find themselves in need.”