A DESPERATE plea has been issued by a successful boxing club as it bids to find a home.

The Bronx Boxing Gym, which is home to more than 50 young boxers, has been based in Tranent for a decade.

However, its base in the former Tranent Methodist Church on Bridge Street, is now in need of repairs.

The club has managed to find a temporary home in Elphinstone Miners’ Welfare and Social Club but there is no room for a boxing ring.

John McCallum, from the club, told the Courier that he would keep fighting to secure a new venue but he felt let down by people not offering up a hall for them to train in.

He said: “The current position is we are out of the old Bronx Gym after it became unsafe.

“We have had nowhere to train and we are now temporarily training in Elphinstone, which was not really working out for us.

“We cannot put up a boxing ring. We are not in a very good place just now.

“We have got male and female Scottish champions and kids from all different backgrounds.We had boxers at the Commonwealth Games last year and I just feel East Lothian has let us down.

“We cannot get any premises to put up a boxing ring.”

Youngsters are able to train in Elphinstone at the moment but Mr McCallum, whose son, John, is also a boxer, said it presented its own problems.

As well as the lack of a ring, he highlighted that getting youngsters to the venue was not as easy as when they were based in Tranent.

Members of the club are gathering in Tranent's Civic Square at noon today (Saturday).

Mr McCallum, who runs his own plastering business, said the Bronx Boxing Gym offered youngsters a route off the streets.

Alternative venues – including Pencaitland’s Trevelyan Hall – have been offered but issues including cost and the ability to have a ring in place have ruled them out.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that repairing the building in Tranent needed substantial repairs to the roof, as well as the plasterwork and woodwork.

Three representatives from the boxing club attended the town’s community council last month.

David Forrest, chairman of Tranent Community Council, sympathised with the club’s plight. He said: “Unfortunately, everybody is looking for premises.

“There is not a lot the community council can do for them except give them a letter saying we fully appreciate what they do and we back them in trying to find premises.”

Councillor Colin McGinn, who represents the Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry ward, has promised to help however he can.

He said: “The Bronx has been really good at supporting families from low incomes or youngsters that cannot afford to pay fees. They are really good at engaging with hard-to-reach youngsters and I admire and want to support that.

“They have had tremendous success and they need a bit of support.”

Mr McGinn stressed finding the group a permanent base, where a ring could be in place, would not be easy but he was determined to assist if he could.

Anyone who can help the club with their search for premises should contact John on 07747 129506.