Boxing chief appeals for patience from landlords after two clubs left homeless

Boxing chief appeals for patience from landlords after two clubs left homeless

Irish amateur boxing chief Dominic O'Rourke has appealed to landlords to show more patience after two amateur boxing clubs were left homeless this week because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

O'Rourke, the President of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA), warned that other clubs are struggling and wants landlords to show more flexibility until boxing gets off the ropes on August 10.

Two clubs, the St Teresa's BC in Bray, the home town of Olympic champion Katie Taylor, and the Tullow BC, this week announced that they're homeless.

The St Teresa's unit says their premises was sold from underneath them without notice.

"We at St Teresa's BC are currently homeless. The premises that we ran our club (from) had been sold during the lockdown without any warning given to us."

And the Tullow club pointed out that they were forced to close in mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We are homeless. The landlord refused to freeze our rent, and the club could not afford to pay it," said part of a Tullow BC online statement.

"We are all devastated as you can imagine, but unfortunately it is out of our hands. Everything we have done has been on a voluntary basis."

Clubs can't raise funds because amateur boxing, inside and outside the ring, in Ireland is in lockdown since mid-March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IABA said last Friday following a teleconference meeting that there will be no boxing or boxing-related activities Ireland until at least August 10 because of the virus.

There are approximately 360 clubs in Ireland. Dublin, which has over 60 units, and Antrim, which has over 40, have the highest concentration of clubs.

"We'd be hoping that landlords would be a bit more flexible and patient with us until we get back," said O'Rourke.

"We're not due back until August 10. That's another two months or so away and other clubs are in trouble.

"We're looking at the problems these two clubs (St Teresa's BC and Tullow BC) are having to see if we can help them.

"We hope that landlords are more patient until we get back up and running."

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