East Durham Boxing Gymnasium Officially Opened

The East Durham Boxing Gymnasium was officially opened by local hero Tony Jeffries, bronze medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and former student of East Durham College.

The boxing gym is part of the Prescott Sports Centre at the new East Durham College Campus in Peterlee. The Sports Centre cost approximately £2m, as part of the £36m new build at Willerby Grove.

Tony Jeffries, said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to open this great gym, it has got some brilliant facilities.

“All I wanted to do was go to the Olympic Games – my goal was to go and I was working towards it. Then I came to this College when I was 16 and I really do think if it was not for the coaching of Dave Binns and the help of Ian Prescott, the Principal, I probably would have got to the Olympics but would not have got the medal, so I’d really like to thank them for that.

“It’s not guaranteed if you come to this college and work with Dave you’ll go to the Olympics and win a medal, I think I was a lucky one, but you might if you work hard and keep trying – I’m sure you’ll achieve what you have set out to do.”

Tony went on to tell the students: “Another great thing about coming to this college was that I got an NVQ in Engineering and if the boxing had not worked out I could done something else I really liked. Good luck and train hard and I’m sure your achieve with your college work and boxing.”

Ian Prescott, Principal and Chief Executive, said: “The new boxing gym, and sports centre, is a real jewel in the crown of this fantastic new campus. They offer the students of the College and the wider community the facilities they deserve.

He added: “I’m immensely proud of the College’s boxing tradition and achievements over the years, and Tony is a shining example that. I’m sure this new gym will provide a platform to start the careers of future stars in the sport.”

David Binns, Head of Boxing at the College and Regional Coach for ABAE (Amateur Boxing Association of England), said: “Boxing can offer so much to the youth of Peterlee and the surrounding areas. I’ve seen it time and again, how boxing has instilled discipline, confidence and vitally self worth in kids that may have otherwise taken the wrong path.”

If you are interested in getting involved please call the Sport Team on 0191 518 8310.