Community boxing club stalwart given lifetime achievement award

Droitwich Advertiser: Chairman of Wychavon District Council, Councillor Gerry O’Donnell, presents the lifetime achievement award to Chris Andrews. Chairman of Wychavon District Council, Councillor Gerry O’Donnell, presents the lifetime achievement award to Chris Andrews.

A MAN who has dedicated much of his life to helping young people in Droitwich Spa has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award.

Chris Andrews, who founded Droitwich Boxing Academy 36 years ago, was honoured when Wychavon District Council held its first Community Recognition ceremony.

The awards celebrate and acknowledge the volunteers, community and club leaders, community projects, coaches, athletes and artists who have made an outstanding contribution to society.

Mr Andrews has coached many young people over the years and his creation of the boxing club has helped countless youths. The club caters for those who have been excluded from school or who have come to the attention of the police, social services or youth offending teams.

His coaching and disciplined environment has helped to keep youngsters occupied, boost self-esteem and improve their fitness.

He recently instigated work for the club to be awarded £200,000 funding for a new, state-of-the-art facility near Droitwich Leisure Centre, Briar Mill.

Mr Andrews' involvement with the community doesn’t stop at the boxing club, his wider interest in the voluntary sector has helped many.

He has helped with fund-raising as a member of Droitwich Spa Rotary Club and helped find a home for Droitwich's Council for Voluntary Services in 1984.

Mr Andrews said: "It is a big honour to get this award. However, I do feel this is a team achievement because many other people have put in long hours for the boxing club. I may have started the club, but I could not have run it by myself.

"I'm not as involved as I used to be but I'm still there most nights and will continue to be involved."

The awards are split into seven different categories and nominations are taken from town and parish councils. In all, 42 nominations were received.

Chairman of the council, Councillor Gerry O’Donnell, and Councillor Richard Morris were on hand to present the awards at Pershore's Civic Centre on December 11.

Coun Morris, executive board member for community, leisure and culture, said: “It was a pleasure to celebrate and recognise those who have contributed so much to Wychavon. The high number of nominations received for the awards shows how many wonderful and dedicated people live in the district.”

Also honoured at the same awards evening was fellow Droitwich Spa man Thomas Ewins.

Mr Ewins was given the Sporting Hero Award for teaching and coaching young people for the past 30 years at Droitwich Spa Judo Club.

He runs numerous classes a week, taking on the role as a committee member, attending all meetings and also refereeing for the sport. He recently started a senior’s class as well.

His club has created many friendships amongst those in society who need it the most, the young and the elderly. Parents have spoken of the confidence he has instilled in their children, motivating them to improve and enter competitions and strive for the best.

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