Tuesday 29 November 2011
Gerry Lavelle has been awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award for supporting amateur boxers in West Sussex.
Having coached at three separate boxing clubs in South East London, former boxer Lavelle offers his expertise to amateur boxers in Bognor Regis and Chichester after accepting a full-time job at a local estate.
Drumming up interest from local residents, Lavelle attracted the attention of Sussex Police, who donated £1,000 to get the St Gerards Amateur Boxing Club started.
Ten years later, the club has around 35 full-time members and has dramatically reduced anti-social behaviour in the area.
"The prize money will go a long way in supplying our members with new equipment"
- Gerry Lavelle
Gerry dedicates around five evenings a week to coaching his members, who range from nine to 40 years of age, as well as accompanying them to amateur boxing tournaments at weekends and organising an annual exhibition in Chichester to attract new members and investors.
Gerry has recruited four more fully qualified coaches to expand the club and hopes to gain the space to admit more members in the future.
On receiving the award, Lavelle said: "Without organisations like Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and Premier League Creating Chances supporting grassroots sport, clubs like ours would not be able to survive.
"The prize money will go a long way in supplying our members with new equipment, and allow us to redeem our affiliation with the Amateur Boxing Association."
Gareth Southgate, a judge on the Barclays Community Sports Award panel, said: "Clubs like St Gerards are known to reduce anti-social behaviour in local communities, while providing amateur sportsmen and women access to professional coaching staff and facilities, something I'd like to see more of all over the UK.
"I was extremely happy to be involved in choosing Gerry for this month's award, alongside Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and Premier League Creating Chances."
The Barclays Community Sports Award is in its second year and will be awarded each month throughout the football season, just like the awards for the Barclays Player and Manager of the Month
The award aims to demonstrate the outstanding contributions to grassroots sports that are being made by individuals up and down the country, at the same time as those in the professional game are being recognised for their achievements.
The Barclays Community Sports Award is delivered in partnership between Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League's Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
Each monthly winner will receive £1,000 for their group or organisation, a limited edition trophy and will be entered into the end-of-season award to win a further £5,000, all donated by Barclays Spaces for Sports.
The end-of-season award winner will also receive a VIP trip to London to receive their award from Southgate.
To nominate a person, group or organisation for the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Month visit barclayscommunitysportsaward.com