The Bilton Hall Amateur Boxing club based within Low Simonside was formed by the late Ken Sayers during 1984 following the closure of the Perth Green ABC where Ken was a coach. Ken and a handful of boxers including Martyn Devlin converted one of the former Bilton Hall Infants school classrooms into a boxing gym using materials from local shipyards and work places. The club used the name of the former school as there was already a local boxing club named Simonside at that time. The gym was officially opened on October 4th 1985 by the late councillor Violet Hope. A few years later Ken Sayers left the club for work and family commitments and Martyn Devlin took over the running of the club and still does to this day after more than 30 years.
The club is open on 3 evenings per week and has attracted thousands of local youths through its doors over the years and went on to produce champions at all levels. The club is completely self-funded with everything done on a voluntary basis. At the gym youths and adults are taught this great character building sport that helps develop self discipline, courage, dedication, and physical excellence along with keeping them from hanging around the streets and out of harms way.
The club boxers travel to other club shows throughout the region and have also boxed on shows at Belfast. During 2005 Martyn persuaded world boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard to visit the Jarrow gym whilst he was on a UK dinner show tour with him, Ray gave tips to the young boxers and posed for photos with them as did Ricky Hatton when Martyn brought him to the gym a few years later.
On October 3rd 2015 the club held a 30 reunion and invited all who had boxed for the club since its formation. The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside attended and thanked Martyn for his commitment in keeping the club going for over 30 years.
The gym is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening:
- Juniors (11-16) – 6.30pm-7.30pm
- Seniors – 7.30pm-8.30pm
- Next Boxing Show is on Thursday June 1st at The Neon club Jarrow
- To book Ringside seats at £13 each or to sponsor a bout at only £30 contact Martyn on 07752515280
- Martyn Devlin – A.B.A Full Qualified Coach, Secretary & Matchmaker Tel – 07752 515280
- Callum Larson -ABA Coach
Affiliated to the Tyne, Tees, & Wear Division of England Boxing
Low Simonside CA, Jarrow
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