The Abbotsford-Mission Boxing Club is looking for a new home – and fast.
The club received notice to vacate its current home at Durieu Elementary School several weeks ago, and must find a new home starting in March.
The club, which has been in operation for over 15 years, is seeking the assistance of the community to help find a new home for its ring and approximately 15 students.
The AMBC trains for 90 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and head coach Dale Gatin said he doesn’t want to see the club go away.
“We are a non-profit group and help encourage youth through sport,” he said. “It is very hard for a non-profit like us to find a place that is affordable.”
The club’s uses about 2,000 square feet at Durieu, but Gatin said probably 1,000 sq. feet would work. One issue is the club also requires storage of its boxing ring. The ring is not only used by the club, but is also regularly transported to other provincial and regional events throughout the Fraser Valley.
Gatin said so many youth have been positively impacted by participating in the club, and he wants to continue that legacy.
“I went to keep it going because there’s a lot of kids that need this,” he said, pointing out that he helps disadvantaged youth join the club by allowing them to train for free. “We give some of these kids equipment and give them something positive to do. It helps local kids with self-esteem and confidence. I don’t want to close it down – somehow, someway – even if we have to do it outside I’ll continue it. We haven’t got to that point yet, but I pray we can find something.”
Gatin has been involved with the club from the very beginning, and the first location was inside the North Fraser Fire Department when Gatin worked there. He went from there to a location in Deroche to a venue on London Avenue in Downtown Mission, but Gatin said the rent eventually became too high and he moved the club to Durieu where it’s been for the past five years.
“The school has been awesome for us,” he said. “But many locations that we’ve looked at are pretty expensive, it makes it tough for us.”
The next big local event for the club occurs in May.
Gatin urges anyone with ideas or suggestions to call him at 604-826-1455 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He said he’s also open to looking at locations in Abbotsford.
For more on the club, visit missionboxing.com.