Clayhall Park boxing club trainees chased away by dogs demand Redbridge Council installs gate
PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 October 2018
A boxing club in Clayhall Park which says its young members are being driven away by barking dogs during the winter months is urging the council to allow a gate to be installed.
Attendance at Redbridge Amateur Boxing Club, in Longwood Gardens, dwindles from an average of 15 to around four trainees in winter when the park shuts at 4.30pm, according to coach and founder Khuram Amin.
He wants a gate to be installed at the corner of Park View Gardens so members can attend evening sessions without needing to walk through the park after hours.
“They don’t feel safe,” Khuram said.
He added: “There are two dogs that come out of nowhere.
“They chase and bark at the kids.”
He said he has contacted Redbridge Council about the dogs – which he believes to be a German shepherd and a bull mastiff – but no one has been able to identify their owners.
He said he has also tried moving his 5.30pm Tuesday classes to Saturday during winter, to no avail.
“Tuesday is more convenient for them – most kids are busy with their families on Saturday,” he said.
“So they lose out on training for four or five months a year and some drop out.”
Khuram is willing to pay for the gate and a petition supporting the campaign has gained more than 150 signatures.
He intends to apply for planning permission in the next few weeks.
He believes the club is vital to preventing youths being “sucked into street life”.
A council spokeswoman said: “We appreciate the concerns of the boxing club and will look into the practicability of this with Vision, our leisure provider.
“However, it is part of our agreement with the club that the venue can only be used during the park’s opening hours which close at 4.30pm in winter.”
Documents seen by the Recorder indicate that the club, which leases its venue from Vision, can run sessions after the park’s closing hours when “agreed in advance with the parks security and managed by the club to ensure the park is left secure at all times”.
Khuram said this was verbally agreed when the club was founded five years ago.