2009 - A year of change at Exmouth ABC

PUBLISHED: 09:01 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:30 10 June 2010

THE YEAR of 2009 can certainly be called a year of enormous change for Exmouth Amateur Boxing club, writes Phil Crook.

THE YEAR of 2009 can certainly be called a year of enormous change for Exmouth Amateur Boxing club, writes Phil Crook.

The year started with worries about how many Exmouth boxers the club would have on their show in March at the Pavilion.

The club found itself in the unusual position of having six boxers making their debut on the show, and no one with any experience, which meant not knowing how they would react when they all went into the ring for the first time.

The intense pressure that comes upon someone when they step through the ropes has seen the most confident of people wilt.

Thankfully, they all boxed magnificently and, in the case of female boxer Laura Maker, her clash with Ammie Jennings from Tudorville will live long in the memory.

For three rounds the pair stood toe to toe and produced a bout as exciting as any seen in Exmouth in the last twenty years.

The success of the show seemed to spark new life into the club and many others came forward eager to box.

At the end of the 08/09 season, the club had won more bouts than it had lost, always an important yard stick by which to gauge progress.

A shadow was cast over the club in July, however, when we lost founder member Mike Norrish, and there was no way of telling how things would change after losing someone of his stature.

When training resumed in August, an influx of new and eager young people descended on the club, all keen to test themselves in the most demanding of individual sports. Nationally, it is boom time for boxing, with all clubs reporting record attendances.

With a lot of schools now running a non-contact version of the sport, the upward trend seems certain to continue.

Already this season, eight people have represented the club and, as we approach the mid point, we have lost one more bout than we have won, but with another four boxers ready to make their debuts on the club's show at the Pavilion on March 12, it will be a surprise if this situation isn't quickly reversed.

The Squire twins, Jonah and Eric, are entered in the Schoolboy Championships next month, which will be the first time the club has entered someone in a Championship since it was reformed in 2001.

As we enter a new decade, the regeneration the club has undergone is remarkable.

With 30 people training on a regular basis, of which four are female, the club is entering it's 8th decade stronger than ever.

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