NS Fusion backs award-winning boxing gym

Ian Clarkson (seated) with John Costello and Joseph Costello (L)

(30th March 2008)

A community initiative aimed at engaging young people who live in the Regenerating North Solihull area has joined forces with an award-winning boxing gym.


The NS Fusion programme, which has been part funded by the North Solihull Partnership, has provided kit and funding for the gym, which in turn provides training sessions for youngsters from the local area.


Located in Fordbridge, the gym, which was launched by John Costello five years ago, is currently enjoying an unprecedented run of success, having produced a series of champions including four national finalists, three national champions and eight Midland champions over the past year.


The highlight of the year so far has been the success of John's 14-year-old son Joseph who beat Russian, Irish and Israeli opponents, all of whom were older than him, to take home the under 46 kilo European title.


Ian Clarkson, who runs the NS Fusion programme for Solihull Council, said: "Costello's Gym is a shining example of sporting excellence in North Solihull, so it is fantastic that John has agreed to work with us at NS Fusion.


"The ethos behind NS Fusion is to help young people channel their energies into sport in an attempt to keep them away from the pitfalls of youth. I can't think of a better place to learn about the benefits of hard work and dedication to a sporting cause than Costello's Gym.


"As part of the arrangement, we provide some financial support to the gym through supplying kit and equipment, and John will hold several sessions a week with youngsters from the NS Fusion programme."


The North Solihull Partnership, the consortium driving the 15-year, £1.8bn Regenerating North Solihull project, has committed £500,000 to the NS Fusion initiative over the next five years and John believes it is an initiative worthy of the gym's support.


John Costello said: "I am from Chelmsley Wood and I know what it's like being a young person growing up in the area, so I think the NS Fusion initiative is great way of helping youngsters reach their full potential.


"Running a boxing gym is done out of love for the sport rather than money, so any financial assistance we can attract is gratefully received. If we can give something back to local youngsters in return then even better.


"The last year has been our most successful ever and we are now looking to expand the gym to help us achieve even more. We are hoping that working with NS Fusion will highlight the work we are doing in the local area and hopefully attract more investment in the gym."


Over the next 15 years the Partnership, made up of Solihull Council, Whitefriars Housing Group, Bellway Homes and regeneration specialists Inpartnership, will be overseeing the construction of 8,000 new homes and the improvement of 12,500 more. This will be complemented by the development of five new village centres, 10 new primary schools and a considerable investment in infrastructure and open space.