A Welsh gym, which was forced to close during the pandemic, has reopened after support from one of Wales’ largest not-for-profit organisations Welsh Water, and award-winning soft services provider A&R Services.
Dowlais ABC, an amateur boxing club in Merthyr Tydfil has been providing a place for local enthusiasts to train for over 70 years, producing well over 100 ABA Champions.
But earlier this year, as gyms and leisure facilities began to reopen following the winter lockdown here in Wales the boxing club found themselves in a difficult situation.
After a failed COVID inspection from the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association (WABA) coupled with the strict guidelines set by the Welsh Government, the gym, unfortunately, had to keep its doors closed, leaving many boxers without a place to train safely.
The gym, which is not much bigger than the size of two boxing rings unfortunately did not comply to the legislation which included the two-metre social distancing rule.
But Mike Gerlach, Facilities Manager at Welsh Water, whose son Jack trains at Dowlais ABC wanted to reach out and get locals back into the gym.
Mike said: “It is great to work for an organisation like Dwr Cymru Welsh Water who are committed to helping and supporting in our local community where we can. When I heard the boxing gym had been closed and understanding the negative impact this would have on the younger members of the community, I had a discussion with colleagues in the Facilities Management Team to see if we could help in any way. Having experienced first-hand over numerous years the positive impact Dowlais ABC has on the children both inside and outside of the gym, it was a pleasure to be able to help them re-open again to serve the local community.”
With the help and advice from Dwr Cymru, who put in place all the correct restrictions and social distancing guidelines, including the provision of the necessary risk assessments, coupled with A&R’s expert commercial cleaning, which included a bio-misting service which kills 99.9999% of all germs, bacteria including envelope viruses like coronavirus, the boxing club which was such an important hub for the local community was able to pass all the necessary requirements and re-opens its doors. Providing regulars like Luke a place to train again, he said: ‘’I was so happy when the gym was able to reopen again. It has always been a place for me and my friends to meet up and train together’’.
Farah Clark, Facilities Manager for A&R Services commented: ‘’Supporting local initiatives across Wales is something that we as a business are extremely proud to be able to do. At A&R our staff and their local communities are at the centre of our business and to visit the likes of Dowlais ABC gym and know we have helped
Sean Jones, Head Trainer of Dowlais ABC commented: ‘’We are extremely grateful for the support shown by Welsh Water and A&R Services, without their guidance throughout the pandemic we would have likely had to keep our doors closed, to the disappointment of all our members’’
Many community centres have suffered from under-investment for many years with old equipment and tired surroundings.
With the global pandemic highlighting how independent places to exercise operating under tight budgets were unable to react to
Both Welsh Water and A&R Services are committed to supporting as many local community initiatives as possible across Wales.