DURHAM’S Freemen are adding power to the punch of a village boxing club, repeating a donation first made a year ago to buy key pieces of training kit.

A £300 gift from the freemen’s charitable trust helped Brandon Boxing Club cover costs of a new punch bag and gloves.

Trustees have now matched last November’s donation, offering the same sum towards the cost of coaching pads used to develop punching combinations.

The eight-year-old club, which operates from a gym within the village cricket club’s multi-sports complex, boasts 150 members, a third female, aged five upwards.

Two dozen mostly teenage exponents take part in regular local, regional and national competitions.

Four juniors, Harvey Smith, 13, Grace Kenny and Euan Oakes, both 12, and John Dixon, 14, compete in the national Lord Lonsdale Box Cup, in Penrith this weekend.

Competitions secretary Alex Oliver, a civil servant awarded a British Empire Medal in 2017 for services to the sport, said: “Finding funds to replace worn-out kit is a never-ending challenge for any volunteer-led organisation like ours.

“The generosity of both individual donors and organisations like the freemen are vital to allow us to survive and thrive.”

Eric Bulmer, chairman of the charitable trust, said: “The Freemen are pleased to support a great community project which embraces all age groups and is enthusiastically organised and managed by a dedicated group of volunteers.”

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