A BOXING club has launched an appeal to give youngsters in the Rossendale Valley a better fighting chance.

Young fighters like Jake Leary, 20, the newly-crowned North West Amateur Regional Novice champion owe their start in the sport to Rossendale Boxing Club.

But the club, formerly known as Pioneer BC, relies on volunteers and grants to continue offering opportunities to up-and-coming boxers.

An extra £3,000 is now being sought from county councillors to refurbish the battling club, which is based in Union Mill, Cloughfold, Rawtenstall.

Dave Usher, one of the club’s coaches, said in a county council report: “We are currently using old equipment, largely donated by members, and these are in desperate need of upgrading.”

The funding will be used to upgrade the club’s bag gloves, sparring boxing gloves, headguards and other protective equipment.

Rubberised mat flooring will also be purchased, at a cost of around £1,300, to replace board and laminate flooring.

So far Rossendale North County Coun Tony Winder has approved a £600 share of the total and £300 apiece has been received from Couns Darryl Smith (Rossendale South) and Peter Evans (Rossendale West).

Decisions are currently awaited from Jimmy Eaton (Rossendale South) and Whitworth’s Peter Steen.

Just last year the club received £6,000 in grants from Rossendale Council, which were used to purchase two new rings.

Club officials have worked closely with the borough’s community engagement team.