Saved by the Bell

I was pleased to hear yesterday from Emilio Places-Rey of the West End Boys’ Amateur Boxing Club to let me know that the boxing club’s great work with young people in Dundee is featured in the “Real Lives” section of this week’s Herald Magazine.

If you haven’t seen yesterday’s Herald Magazine, you can get the magazine via subscription at although I expect the article will soon appear on the “Real Lives” section of the Herald’s website (at

The article entitled “Saved by the Bell” is really interesting and it is good to see recognition of what the boxing club is achieving locally.

Images from the Herald Magazine article

Last couple of days …

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the attending the official opening of the Dundee Carers Centre new offices in Argyll House, West Marketgait.  

Later, after a meeting with the Communities Officer for the West End on the new West End Local Community Plan 2012-14, I attended the latest Community Spirit Action Group meeting, the residents’ group covering Cleghorn, Ancrum, Polepark, Pentland, Tullideph and surrounding areas. 

There was an excellent presentation from Ian Treanor of the Dundee Energy Efficiency Advice Project.   Ian’s presentation covered insulation, income maximisation and the price of fuel/fuel social tariffs.

We also discussed numerous local issues including road safety on Ancrum Drive, an issue I have raised with the City Council.

Today, I was interviewed on STV news, in support of a very worthwhile project by the West End Boys’ Amateur Boxing Club that will see a boxing statue commemorating the legacy of Dick McTaggart on Dundee Law.

This evening, after my weekly surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the AGM of Dundee West Transition Town Group, now to be known as Dundee Transition Town.  There was a really useful discussion about the structure of the group moving forward, urban food production and other matters.

Who Cares Wins

As reported in last night’s Evening Telegraph, the West End Boys Amateur Boxing Club has gained the support of the armed forces charity “Who Cares Wins.”

The Who Cares Wins charity’s founder Billy Fitzgerald set up the charity to find funding for a purpose built long stay mental health treatment unit for ex service personnel suffering with severe mental health problems.

Emilio Places-Rey of the West End Amateur Boxing Club told me, “If I told you that 15 months ago that I was opening a boxing club and to have Ken Buchanan as President and Billy Fitzgerald backing us, you would have thought I was crazy.

I am making my vision into reality and we have got a lot more to do.  It is thanks to people like yourself and others coming together that is making it happen.”

I am pleased to support this hugely worthwhile project that is giving real opportunity to many young people in the local area.

West End Boys Amateur Boxing Club – latest

Earlier this evening, I had the pleasure of meeting boxing legend Ken Buchanan and taking part in a photocall to mark Ken becoming President of Dundee’s West End Boys Amateur Boxing Club.

Here’s Ken with one of the club’s younger member tonight.   Its a real tribute to the hard work of Emilio Places-Rey and his colleagues that the West End ABC has grown into a fibrant boxing club and that someone of the stature of the Tartan Legend is now club President.

West End Boys’ Amateur Boxing Club – an update

Last year, I had the pleasure of opening the West End Boys Amateur Boxing Club at its new centre in the refurbished community facilities at Dundee West Church.

The club has grown from strength to strength since then and Emilio Places-Rey who has been instrumental in the club’s success has recently undertaken a visit to Hong Kong and Australia – meeting with boxing clubs there that have a similar mission to promote boxing as a positive way for young people to spend their leisure time.

Here’s Emilio below (on left) with Joe of Joe’s Boxing Club in Sydney, with whom the club wish to arrange a boxing show in 2011 (and a similar event is planned with a boxing club in Munich)  :