A new community boxing club will be launched in the Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) area of the South Wales Valleys in the coming weeks. Ex-amateur boxer Paul Evans, who competed in over 180 fights during his 17 year career, will open the Valleys Boxing Gym in Porth as a lengthy preparation period nears the end. Evans said, “There’s not much in Porth and I want to give something back to the community. I never really planned to have my own gym because of all the responsibilities that come with it but now I’m training Robbie (Forster – two time Welsh novice champion), I need a home base for him and that was the reason to kickstart the gym. The 35-year-old works as a social worker for the elderly during the day but he will make time for training and run the boxing club, which will be open for all ages, in the evenings. Evans won four Welsh titles in his fighting days and pays tribute to the impact boxing had on his life. He said, “I went as far as I could with my amateur career but I went abroad as a boxer, I never did things like that with my parents but boxing opened doors and opportunities for me. I definitely want to do something like that for the kids and the community here. “I’ve had a lot of experience, boxing from the age of 16 and coaching for two years at Arthur’s Gym. I got a massive buzz from coaching and that’s persuaded me to go for it.” Due to Evans’ work in the local area and his time coaching at Arthur’s Gym in nearby Rhydyfelin, the former fighter turned trainer is hoping the new gym will help his network of contacts. Evans said, “I work in RCT with social services and I’ve done that for the last ten years. I know quite a lot of people in RCT, I’m hopeful I can tap in to some of those communities and I can make a difference. “With my background as a social worker, I hope I’ll be able to get youngsters in who are having difficulties in schools or at home. I’m looking to set up a scheme for that. “When I was young, boxing kept me off the streets, it kept me focused which was important because I wasn’t very good in school. Unfortunately, I didn’t go professional because I wasn’t able enough but boxing became a big part of my life.” ‘Valleys Boxing Gym is situated on Rheloa Industrial Estate in Porth. If you want to contact Paul Evans to help with equipment or expertise, call 07804730975.

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