Rotary boxing event delivers boost for Ark

It was honours even in a boxing contest involving two of sport’s fiercest rivals – but the big winner was local good causes, including Ark Cancer Centre Charity, as nearly £20,000 was raised at a high-profile Basingstoke event.

Some of England’s best young boxers took on their counterparts from Wales in the 18th Basingstoke Deane Charity International Boxing tournament last Friday.

The popular annual event is one of the highlights of the Basingstoke business and sporting events calendar. While the contest ended in a 3-3 draw, it was one of the most successful evenings in terms of attendance, and the generous support of the guests resulted in a great sum raised for good causes supported by the Rotarians.

Held at The Hampshire Court Hotel, in Chineham, 350 guests enjoyed an evening of high-quality contests with several of the bouts going to split decisions.

Five of the bouts featured male competitors but it was two female boxers who kicked off the evening’s sporting proceedings after the guests at the black-tie event had enjoyed a three-course dinner.

Lindy Richardson, President of The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane, said: “This was undoubtedly one of the most successful charity boxing events that the club has held. We were delighted to see many regular supporters and also a lot of new faces, many of whom have already said they will be back next year.

“I would particularly like to thank Southern Communications, Centerprise International, and Champion Group, who are the main sponsors of the event, the bout sponsors and programme advertisers, and all of the organisations who sponsored and hosted the tables.

“I would also like to thank England Boxing for providing the talented boxers who put on such a great evening of sporting entertainment.”

A grand prize draw helped to swell the charity coffers, and Lindy said that Ark Cancer Centre Charity will be the main recipient of the 40 charities and good causes that will benefit from the proceeds raised at this year’s event.

The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane is a long-standing and key supporter of Ark, which is raising £5million towards a unique local cancer treatment centre that will help and support people in the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area. The boxing audience was told the support of the Basingstoke Deane Rotarians will  continue into 2018-19.

Picture caption: Action from one of the six bouts