A NEW gym is helping people of all ages get into boxing through a unique sponsorship scheme.

Barnsley Boxing Academy, on Chesham Road in the town centre, is a non-profit gym that became officially affiliated with England Boxing last week.

They provide affordable sessions for both kids and adults, as they work to make boxing accessible to all.

Coach Stephen Harford told the Chronicle: “The majority of the people we train are between eight and 30.

“It started because of a very generous lady named Andrea Cooper - I taught her child at an old place how to box.

“She’s given me the opportunity to start this gym and is offering sponsorships for people who want to train.

“She’s been an immense support.”

Andrea’s son, Henry Cooper, 16, was recently diagnosed with ADHD and has found boxing a helpful way to manage his condition.

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The Horizon pupil is about to sit his GCSEs, but keeps up his work at the gym where he has started helping Stephen train the younger kids.

“Boxing’s been great for Henry, both physically and mentally,” Andrea added.

“He trained with Stephen at a different gym, but I could tell that Stephen was fed up there, so I supported him setting up his own gym.

“I think it’s going really well - we’re keeping it affordable but for anyone who couldn’t afford the £8 or £10 a week I’m offering sponsorships to fund their training.

“It’s such a good thing for kids to get involved in and helps keep them off the street.

“But even though I’ve funded it, I couldn’t do it without Stephen - he’s put in years of work to train and build it up.”