Poseidon Amateur Boxing Club is the first group to benefit from the new Hampshire Cricket Community Trust.

The charitable scheme was launched yesterday by Hampshire Cricket, in association with Eastleigh Borough Council, and is designed to increase sporting opportunities in the area, writes GORDON SIMPSON.

Poseidon, a newly-formed club, represents the first project to receive support from the trust.

They have been able to establish training facilities at the Ageas Bowl and also received £25,000 of investment from the council.

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said: “I’m thrilled the Hampshire Cricket Community Trust has now got off to a tangible start and I think we can now demonstrate to the community at large the power of a trust like this, in association with our local borough council.

“The Poseidon Amateur Boxing Club is the first of many causes that we hope to help over the forthcoming years.”

As part of its work, the trust also plans to conduct school visits with Hampshire players, while establishing a study support centre at the Ageas Bowl and a small grant scheme to assist sports clubs and community groups.

The Mayor of Eastleigh, Cllr Rupert Kyrle, added: “It’s absolutely fantastic that, even in hard times, we can have this kind of partnership working between the borough council, the Ageas Bowl, Hampshire Cricket Community Trust and organisations like Poseidon Amateur Boxing Club.”

The club has been founded by three serving members of the Royal Navy – Lucy O’Connor, Stuart O’Connor and John Murray.

Chairman Lucy O’Connor, a former Great Britain boxer, said: “There’s no way we could have established ourselves without the support of both Eastleigh Borough Council and the Hampshire Cricket Community Trust.

“We owe everything to them and we hope now we can thank them by providing opportunities to people in the local community.

“We’ve seen how powerful boxing can be in the community, to help people turn their lives around, not to mention the health and lifestyle benefits that it brings.”

The club’s intention is to offer tuition to children from the age of five all the way through to adults, including women. For more information, visit poseidonabc.co.uk.