Birkenhead Venture Boxing Club

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Like the mythical Phoenix, Birkenhead Venture ABC has risen from the flames.

Indeed, the club has burnt down, been burgled and closed. But now, thanks to hard work of its dedicated staff, it's back and doing better than ever.

In the first three and half seasons of its resurrection, the club picked up a multitude of national titles and established itself as the rising star amongst Merseyside's already vibrant boxing scene.

"The first half season we had 18 out of 18 wins and in the three seasons after we had five national titles and a tri-nations gold medallist," head coach Sean Trodden told Hattonboxing.

"Things are getting bigger and better all the time and we've had a few new coaches come in for the new season and I'm expected things to go from strength to strength.

"We've got the biggest numbers we've ever had now and the future's bright.

"We're very much at the start of things but from the feedback we've had and the ways things have been going we're very much on an upwards curve. We're not going to peter out because we're gathering momentum now."

"We've got 10 ABA coaches at present and we're expecting to have 42 carded amateurs."

The club was set up by Sean's father, Dennis, and Herbie Harrison in 1978 and garnered success with several area champions and a Junior ABA winner in Robbie Girven.

But after a few years it fell on hard times. Random acts of vandalism and ever growing work commitments led the coaches to handing over the gym to a trainer named Tony Diponio, who renamed it the Cavendish Wirral.

A few years passed and once again the club found itself facing difficulties. Diponio took the decision to close the club and it seemed that another of the North West's respected boxing establishments was lost forever.

The building, situated on Brassey Street, fell into disrepair until the Troddens decided to give the old place another go in 2008.

"When we took over it was a bombsite," Sean recalled. "We've had couple of donations from local businesses, the youth opportunity and the youth capital fund helped us because they enabled us to get grants for a new roof, central heating and get it to the standard it is now.

"The council are pretty pleased with us because we took over what was basically a derelict building and turned it into a success story."

Now the gym is at a standard to rival any other and new people are coming on board to help out all the time. But, like most amateur clubs, sourcing funds is always difficult.

"It's been really hard. We've got good membership so have decent subs coming in but we've got a lot of bills," Trodden admits.

"We did a sponsored 15 mile walk on the Wirral coast to get the money for three new weights machines. In October I'm doing a marathon to raise funds for a mini bus so we're motivated and driven.

"There's not much help around but we really appreciative for what we've had so far. Everything we get goes into the club and, although it's hard to do, it's a pleasure when you see the end results."

Those results cannot be argued with. In 2010 season Sean Dodd won the ABA Novice under-10s championship, Freddy Young picked up the national schoolboy title as well as a Three Nations gold medal that then secured Freddy Mesreyside and Cheshire ABA’s Schoolboy Boxer Of The Year Award. The club also had further success in the Welsh Championships.

And that's just the start of things.

New coach Danny Kelly is certainly someone who is excited about the club's future. The experienced trainer moved from the successful Everton Red Triangle ABC in 2011 and hasn't looked back.

"When I left Everton Red Triangle I had offers from clubs all over Merseyside but there was only one place I was going to," he stated. "Me and Sean are very similar coaches and share the same ideas”.

"For a gym that had only been back on its feet for three years it had done brilliantly and I can see us clearing up in competitions in future seasons”.

"I expect us to win several amateur titles and we've got a possible four or five boxers we're possibly looking at turning over to the professional game, so the future is definitely looking good."

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