Rydal Gym - Our Partnership

claim.co.uk are proud to support community boxing centre Rydal Gym. Read about the work Robbie and his team do in bringing disadvantaged children off the streets and into a caring, disciplined family, and how claim.co.uk make it possible.

After seeing the great work Rydal Gym do for the community of Liverpool, claim.co.uk wanted to give something back to them. The team have been sponsoring and helping Rydal Gym in a number of ways, and will continue to work with Rydal, providing ongoing support. Below, we detail what Rydal Gym is, the work their team does for the community, and how claim.co.uk help them succeed in their mission.

The History of Rydal

Rydal is headed by Robbie Butler who launched the Kirkdale gym back in 2010. Formerly of Kirby ABC, where he had 40 amateur bouts and later became a coach, Robbie is now loving life at Rydal, bringing through kids from across Liverpool, and as far as Formby and Ormskirk.

He set Rydal up in the Bankhall Girls Institute building which has a long and varied history. Originally, the building was a reform school for mischievous girls, which mirrors the current use, only through boxing rather than scrupulous teachers. Through the decades the building has seen lots of uses, including a dance school and a Sikh school of 1947. The paranormal society pay a keen interest too, with the building supposedly being haunted.

Now, the building hosts boxers of various levels, with strength and conditioning classes, and kid’s classes. Rydal boasts a full boxing gym, a strength and conditioning room, and a community café.


Working in The Community

So much of what Rydal Gym does is rooted in helping the community. This is particularly true in relation to bringing disadvantaged children off of the streets and into a tight-knit boxing family.

Many of the children Robbie and his team bring through those gym doors and not suited to conventional classrooms, and their teachers often fall short of getting through to them. Robbie, however, understands these children:

“We started bringing in children who were behaving badly at school, and they were actually turning up. Their teachers were amazed, asking us how we were doing it. They were wearing our Rydal Gym uniforms, thinking “I’m from there, I’m a part of that”.

Robbie is a big believer of “Prevention is better than cure”, and looks to nip any bad behaviour in the bud before it turns into something more serious. Many of the children have never had a father figure or have been brought up in troubling circumstances. Robbie allows those children to have a little bit of discipline and good role models in the gym in the form of professional boxers.

Our program is about conducting yourself the right way, in the ring and out of the ring. The gym is a “truth chamber”. You can’t pretend to be something you’re not here.

You want to teach these kids that making mistakes is okay, because you can learn from the lesson. If you want to charge of your own life, they have to take responsibility for it, and boxing teaches you that.

In this sense, even if the children don’t turn pro, they are leaving the gym a better person than when they entered.

In addition to the disadvantaged kids being pulled from the wrong path, Robbie and his team highlight the fact that boxing and gyms in general benefit the mental health of the community more generally. With classes on every day and night, he encourages people in Liverpool to get moving, and potentially use any negative energy on the bag.

The Kickstart Program

Rydal Gym is also utilising the Government’s Kickstart Scheme. The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit. Similar to apprenticeships, the team have welcomed eight young adults for vital paid work experience.

It provides these kids a place where there is a boss. Not just me, but the customer too, because the customer is the boss. You get a full run down of how we work. Be nice, learn names, no egos. They are not a number or statistic when they walk through those doors.

The funding covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months.

Turning Disadvantaged Children Into Pros

Rydal has seen as many as 10 professional boxers over the 12 years it has been established. The Rydal Psycho, Joe Wood, was a notable pro who was destined for big things in the boxing world before he had to unfortunately retired due to brain trauma. Robbie took Joe under his wing aged 12, and was like a father figure for Joe throughout his short boxing career.

The next in the long line of pros is Sean Cairns. Sean turned pro in 2016, and would be the first to admit that before boxing he was on a downward spiral.

I was a little b*stard before Rydal. I robbed, I grew weed, I loved a party Friday to Sunday. Just generally up to no good.”

Like many young men, Robbie brought Sean into Rydal after seeing where his life would eventually lead him.

“Robbie said you can’t live the life you’re living and expect to box. So he said to move in the gym.”

Sean moved into Rydal gym, got a few good night’s sleep, and got his life back on track. Since then he has fought on Sky live twice, fought at Wembley Arena, won a Central Area Title, and is now waiting for news on a potential chance at the English title this year.

“This is the best place in the world for me. Kids come in here who couldn’t fit in mainstream school, coming here once or twice a week. They end up coming here for three or four days because the school is made up with them after they have been.”

The Help of claim.co.uk

claim.co.uk have provided sponsorship and support in a number of ways. Our team have provided the Gym transport in the form of a club van so that boxers can get to and from fights up and down the UK. We are also committed to providing fuel for that van in order to ease some of the financial burden on Robbie and his team, whilst also providing food for the fighters.

In addition to this, we have provided Robbie with financial advice and business support. Robbie has said:

“Without the help of claim.co.uk we wouldn’t be here. They have absolutely put us on the map. Financial support, advice, accountants, everything we needed they have got us.

This is all so we can continue our work. Not just helping the kids off the street too, but the general public. There’s a class here for everyone.”

Robbie and his team were struggling, as many were, during the pandemic to make the gym work. The gym was limited company but wasn’t making money. claim.co.uk have provided commercial advice and given opportunities that have helped the team massively and now means the gym can continue for the foreseeable future.

What are the plans moving forward?

Rydal Gym has a number of plans for the future. Their team want to increase their education program to try and get more children on it.

We’ve got some unbelievable kids already on it, but we want more. We have great ideas, great teachers.

We want to teach them about finance, running a business, how to run your own body. Things that you may not be taught on a normal curriculum. We’re trying to encourage free thinking. Teaching kids that may not fit into the stereotypical classroom how to be better people.

claim.co.uk salutes the brilliant work Robbie and his team are doing at Rydal Gym and are proud to provide ongoing support.

Find more information on Rydal Gym here - https://www.rydalgym.co.uk/

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