The 29th annual dinner and boxing evening organised by the Furness and South Lakeland Group once again proved a tremendous success.
The general feeling is that there has never been a better evening of boxing at this event which as always was held at the Cumbria Grand Hotel, Grange over Sands.
The 10 bouts on the card featured some novice boxers and other more experienced practitioners of the noble art, including three who have represented England. But from the oldest to the youngest they produced displays full of energy, passion and skill which regularly brought the sell-out crowd to their feet.
All 226 places for the dinner were taken with a large waiting list for tickets for this prestigious pugilistic fund raiser.
Generous sponsorship, an auction, raffle and other enterprises ensured that there were abundant opportunities for the patrons to put their hands in their pockets and once again raise a substantial sum for charity and good causes. Treasurer Ray Dickinson is still rattling the beads on his abacus but he estimates the event will have raised in the region of 8 or £9,000.
The occasion takes place under the auspices of Kendal Amateur Boxing Club. Head coach Alan Willoughby has been responsible for arranging the bouts throughout the history of the event.
Boxing committee chairman Gary Rogerson remarked: “I am really grateful to Alan for his invaluable assistance. Without his co-operation and input we simply could not go ahead. We always have a good card of bouts but this years has been absolutely outstanding.”
Typical of the bouts was the last one of the evening featuring Ross Cooksey from Barrow ABC. against Adam Cope from Hartlepool. Cooksey had been the star of the show last year but this year he was facing a man who had been a semi-finalist in last years junior ABA Championship and was an England international.
The announcement of Cooksey’s name was greeted with very loud vocal encouragement from the predominantly local crowd which had been swelled by his travelling supporters filling the spaces on the edges of the room. The reception for Cope was polite but subdued.
At the end of the three rounds however both boxers were cheered to the rafters as the whole room got to its feet having witnessed a bout in which great boxing skills, courage and athleticism were to the fore. The fight was ferocious, and at times brutal, throughout.
Cope got the verdict and the applause.
With it being the off-season the Cumbria Grand is able to offer very generous terms for those wishing to stay overnight. With all the available rooms being taken there were many remaining after the boxing had finished who took the opportunity to enjoy the pleasant company – and a glass of something refreshing or two!
Amongst the onlookers was group chairman Alan Jones who said: “The money raised will be well spent helping those in need. That is in small part possible because of the extremely generous sponsors. I am grateful not only to them but to Gary, Alan and all the helpers who have made it such a successful evening.”
The boxing committee will be kept busy in deciding the distribution of the funds raised and arranging a presentation evening for the cheques to be presented.
Arrangements are already in hand for the 2016 dinner and boxing evening, but this year has set a very high bench mark for them to reach.