Green light for boxing gym to be named after tragic teenager

A picture of a young man taken outside, with a building in the background.
Christian Hobbs – the new gym will be named in his honour. -Credit:Heart of England Community Boxing Club

A community boxing club has been given the green light to build a gym in honour of one of its young boxers who tragically died at 17. But the club is now appealing for help in raising the funds to make the building a reality. Christian Hobbs passed away in December 2017 from an undiagnosed heart condition.

He had been training at the Heart of England Community Boxing Club in Hinckley since the age of 14. In the same month, the club was evicted from its former home in Burbage. After Christian’s death, the club pledged to try and build a new gym named in Christian’s honour.

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council has now given the go ahead for the Christian Hobbs Gym, on land adjacent to Hinckley Cricket Club, on Leicester Road in the town. In association with Christian’s family, the club launched an appeal for funding for the gym, which has so far raised more than £70,000. But they still have a way to go to meet their aim of raising '£1M to develop the finest boxing facility in the country’.

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Christian’s family described the club’s decision to dedicate the gym to Christian as ‘a ray of light at what was a very dark time’. They added: “Christian was an unassuming boy. The idea of having his club’s boxing gym named after him would have come as a total surprise to him. He would have been at once humbled and delighted by the decision.”

The amateur boxing club was established in 2003 and is run by Nick Griffin – a former England Boxing director, and ‘one of the most senior and experienced boxing coaches in the country’. Nick and the other coaches volunteer their time for free to run the club, which is currently based in temporary accommodation in a derelict warehouse in Hinckley.

An artist's impression of a building, bearing a sign that says 'The Christian Hobbs Boxing Club'.
An artist's impression of how the gym will look once completed. -Credit:Heart of England Community Boxing Club

The club says the gym ‘will be an outstanding community facility for the population of Hinckley and beyond’. As the club itself will operate in the evening, the gym will provide multisports and other community activities during the day. Leicestershire architects Corporate Architecture Ltd will project manage the two-storey building’s construction.

Planning documents reveal there will be three boxing rings on the ground floor, as well as changing rooms and a canteen. The first floor would include a mixed yoga/strength gym, physiotherapy room, classroom and viewing gallery. The plans also include parking and outdoor areas to be used for summer training.

The club said: “Boxing saves lives. It instils inner confidence, self-discipline and pride in those who participate in the sport, and it has a deep reach into communities which are far less privileged than many and to young people who really benefit from participation in the sport. The family has said how grateful they are for everything that the sport gave to Christian. For the club to actually build this outstanding facility for the community of Hinckley would be an enormous achievement, and a great legacy for Christian Hobbs, whose name will live on in the sport he loved so much.”

The gym will also be close to Hinckley Rugby Club, Hinckley Leicester Road Football Club and Hinckley Town Tennis Club. Nick Griffin said “The support of the Hinckley Rugby and Cricket Clubs has been key to us finding the right location for the gym, in the heart of the Hinckley sporting community, and Christian’s family and all of us at the boxing club would like to thank them for making this possible. We could not have imagined a better site.”

Dr Luke Evans, Member of Parliament for Bosworth, said “I’m so pleased to hear this project is coming to life! From the first time I visited The Heart of England Community Boxing Club a couple of years ago I knew there was real opportunity to create a fantastic boxing centre for Hinckley.

“The fact this has now been given the go ahead is great news for young people across Hinckley and further strengthens our region’s sporting prowess. Well done to all the team involved for getting this over the line, the Christian Hobbs Gym will be a fitting tribute. I look forward to sparring in the new gym when it’s fully functioning!”

You can donate to the fund by searching for heartofenglandcbc or Louise-Hobbs4 at

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