About

As The Irish Forrester’s began to carve out their own history in the 1930’s, they were blissfully unaware that they were laying the foundations for one of the most successful clubs in the history of English boxing. Nearly a century on and along with the inevitable tumultuous highs and lows involved with the toughest sport of them all, the club is nonetheless, flourishing.

Affiliated to the Amateur Boxing of England (ABAE) as Small Heath Amateur Boxing Club for over 70 years, the club, in an attempt to honour its most successful trainer, formed The Pat Benson Boxing Academy in February 2011, shortly after Pat won the BBC WM Unsung Hero Award in December 2010.

The picture shows Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Mike Leddy officially opening the Club on Saturday July 6th 2013, confirming it’s change from Small Heath Boxing Club to the Pat Benson Boxing Academy.

Although still the figurehead, Pat Benson delegates much of his authority to grandson Paddy Benson, a former international boxer, who has also represented the Birmingham and Midlands teams in a career which saw him win 4 Midland County titles and represent his club nearly 40 times. Also a Business graduate from the University of Birmingham, Paddy is a paid Youth Development Officer, funded partially by BBC Children In Need and is responsible for management, fundraising, developing community links in addition to the coaching and training duties.

In a successful, competitive model, each youngster is fighting to engrave their own name into the famous Champion’s Belt which adorns the wall of our reception area. That is the ultimate goal. Our club is one of the very few in existence to have won every domestic boxing championship, a very proud honour which aim to we build on. Every young pretender wants their chance.

From the wall of fame: The picture shows former ABA Champion Matthew Macklin supporting a club show, pictured here with young hopefuls of the future.

One of the ways team spirit is encouraged is by partaking in a yearly residential which teaches life skills and encourages young people to take part in activities they wouldn’t often do, occasionally overcoming their fears and anxieties. This picture shows squad members on an outdoor activity trip to Burnham in 2013.

We have also invested in facilities and the infrastructure of the club, which is now a modern, fresh and very well equipped training environment.

On an educational front, we have developed a sports science section to help young people understand the effects of diet, anatomy and physiology, amongst other issues, in our new purpose built classroom.

The club was also instrumental in developing the AASE course in conjunction with University College Birmingham (UCB) and the ABA, which is an pathway for the City’s finest young boxing talent to train, compete and study full time, earning valuable qualifications along the way. Please contact the club for more information on this.

It is a vehicle for change, which resembles the rebuilding and reshaping process which has lifted the club from near extinction to modern prosperity. Since a fire gutted their Fazeley Street premises in 2004, the club has endured a tough rebuilding effort but is back on it’s feet and back to the summit of Birmingham boxing. The BBC award was evidence to Pat that the hard work had paid off.

It is a vehicle for change, which resembles the rebuilding and reshaping process which has lifted the club from near extinction to modern prosperity. Since a fire gutted their Fazeley Street premises in 2004, the club has endured a tough rebuilding effort but is back on it’s feet and back to the summit of Birmingham boxing. The BBC award was evidence to Pat that the hard work had paid off.

“We have invested in facilities and into our young boxing squad because investing in youth will pay off in the long run, cementing our reputation for years to come. I think our current squad is the best for at least 10 years and has the potential to be the best Small Heath team for decades. That, however, requires an awful lot of time, determination and hard work over the next 10 years.” Paddy Benson

Situated in the heart of Digbeth’s Irish Quarter, a stone’s throw away from Birmingham City Centre, the Academy is an inclusive and welcoming establishment which exist to instil the art and discipline of boxing into young people of all backgrounds and cultures with a focus on educational and personal development as well as physical health and achievements.

We believe in creating a unity and team ethos in our young members that will permeate their daily lives, where they will adopt and nurture the values of loyalty, commitment, perseverance and resilience. We believe in providing a sense of identity, a passion and cause you can be proud to represent. This creates success at all levels from beginners to National and International Champions. Don’t forget, talent is nothing without application.

We believe in loyalty and commitment to the club you box for. We have no respect for traitors. We believe in hard work, preparation and leaving no stone unturned. Don’t forget, it is better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all.

We are a registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) and are also Clubmark registered, which is the universally acknowledged cross sport accreditation scheme for community sports clubs. It is Sport England’s accreditation for high quality community sports clubs, so every parent is aware that we offer a high level of coaching and care throughout all sessions provided.

Funders include Sported, BBC Children in Need, Pertemps People Development Group, West Midlands Police Proceeds of Crime Act Funding, The Bernard Sunley Trust, Sport England Inspired Facilities Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. Thank you to these funders and our sponsors to making such a difference to the lives of our young members.

The long term vision for the club is to introduce an apprenticeship scheme so we can employ some of our young members to manage, develop, teach coach and shape the future, providing security and strengthening the foundations of our club, placing it in safe hands for many generations to come.

For more details and infomation please get in touch

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