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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Millom club facing chop gets new life as community rallies around

A COMMUNITY sports club in Millom faced with closure has found new premises thanks to the efforts of volunteers.

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FIGHT CLUB Martial arts coach Craig Heasley at Millom Rugby League Club outside what will become the new club premises. Inset: the club’s former premises at St Geroge’s Hall

Flex MMA Millom Fight Club was one of three groups left in the lurch by the announcement that St George’s Hall in Millom was due to be sold off by its owners, the Diocese of Carlisle.

However, thanks to the efforts of founder Craig Heasley, budding martial artists will be able to continue training at Millom Rugby League Club, Devonshire Road.

Mr Heasley, 32, of Queen Street, Millom, has been working tirelessly with the help of volunteers to convert a disused building at the club into suitable premises.

He said: “I have had quite a few lads from the club helping me out with things. I am a builder by trade so I have been able to do a lot of it myself but there are certain things I can’t do like the electrics and the plumbing so I have needed help.”

Mr Heasley says he hopes to have the club back up and running in around two months.

“I had been hoping to be done by now but the building has had a leaky roof and with the bad weather there have been delays,” he said.

Mixed martial arts, a combination of striking, wrestling and submission holds, has been rapidly increasing in popularity over the past few years.

Mr Heasley, who competes all over the country, says the sport is a good way for young men to channel aggression.

He said: “It’s just a great way of keeping lads off the streets and stopping them from getting into trouble. The sport keeps you fit and healthy and it teaches you discipline and control.

“You can see the difference in lads after they have been coming for a while – they are more focused.”

Mr Heasley says he hopes to expand the club in the next couple of years to include children’s classes.

He added: “It’s good for the rugby lads as well. They have been using boxing training to keep fit and they can use the facilities in pre-season as well.”

Mr Heasley says local businesses including building suppliers Travis Perkins have helped by donating materials and publishers CGP have provided funding.

Have your say

Well done craig keep up all the hard work. Good luck with your new venture. Well done for putting your time and efforts back into heart of our hometown and the youngster of today. Good luck and best wishes. Pam :)

Posted by Pam Bradley on 7 January 2014 at 18:10

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