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Community Focus: Dagenham Amateur Boxing Club

Danny O'Sullivan explains how he got involved.

I'm an Ex Dagenham Boys Amateur Boxing Club Junior Boxer who then joined the Police Boxing Team when I joined the Met Police in 1990. I was very lucky to enjoy International amateur boxing experience and lead the British Police Boxing Team when winning the World Police & Fire Games and Wold Polce Championships in 1993. I never actually managed to win a National Title as a boxer for Dagenham or the Police, but thoroughly enjoyed all my time boxing, Coaching and now Managing amateur boxers.
I have a very tolerant wife who isn't a boxing fan at all - but she gives me support in my endeavours to keep the momentum of the club moving forward. I have three kids (all boys, 5 years, 7 years and 14 years) - but Lisa doesn't really want them to be boxers . . . . ?
In 1996 I took over the day-to-day running's of Dagenham Amateur Boxing Club when the then Secretary - Mark Massow joined the Paratroopers. 
Since then I've held virtually every Committee position at the Club including spells at Chairman and Secretary (which is my current role).
My Coaching has nearly always been towards the older members of our club and we've enjoyed decent success but just falling short of gaining that elusive National Senior ABA Title. Twice we've reached the semi final (Alan Southwick & Tony Anthony). However, as a club we've produced no fewer than 16 National Title's most Coached by brother Sean (who is behind our success at Junior level). Our biggest star to date is by far - Kevin Mitchell who won 4 National Titles with us before turning Pro. We also happen to have trained the last domestic amateur boxer to beat a certain Amir Khan (Booby Ward).
Currently, our big hopes are firmly with Heavyweight Robin Dupre' and Junior starlet Dean Drew.
I'm lucky in many ways, my entire family have always helped me run the club - alongside current club Chairman and good friend Keith Mills. Mum (Dee) is one of our Treasurers and Dad (Jim) spent many years matching the highly successful Junior Team. Brother Brendon is a qualified Coach and younger brother Liam was a classy boxers at the club - coached by Sean. I have a sister - Lisa, maybe 1 day she will get involved, but her passion in life is horses. 
I also get huge support from my colleagues - especially my Senior Management on Dagenham Borough. Matt Bell (Borough Commander) and Richard Goodwin (Chief Inspector) always give me guidance and help with funding opportunities and the admin of the club.
Running the club really is like having a 2nd Job - but I really do have a passion for amateur boxing and hope to continue with what I currently do.
With rising cost's for registration, Insurance and now a huge rent increase hanging over my head I'm genuinely worried about the future of the club. It would break my heart to close the doors - but as thing stand, I'm a liability as I'm named on the lease. If I know I cant raise the funds to continue - I will not compromise the position of my family, so I'd be forced to hand the lease back.
I just hope that doesn't happen.
I'm a serving Police Office who was originally based at Ilford Police Station, then Chadwell Heath. Then I moved on to Newham Borough before joining Dagenham in 2003. Having been a response team member for 12 years, I moved into Child Protection and Youth work whilst based in Newham and now work as a School based Police Officer.
Ironically, the school I currently serve is Dagenham Park Church of England School (the closest to the Dagenham Boxing Club), and my Police base is dead opposite the Boxing Gym - which is very very handy (as you can imagine). I also worked at Warren Comp and several other schools in Newham.

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