Boxing trainer hits out at ‘wasted’ council money

Kevin Sanders with Coun. John  Okonkowski, Deputy Mayor Nazim Khan and gym owner Vic Imbriano at the launch of the Kevin Sanders boxing academy EMN-150914-204933009

Kevin Sanders with Coun. John Okonkowski, Deputy Mayor Nazim Khan and gym owner Vic Imbriano at the launch of the Kevin Sanders boxing academy EMN-150914-204933009

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A legendary boxing trainer has hit out at Peterborough City Council for “wasting” £20,000 on an academy he was going to set up.

Peterborough’s Kevin Sanders trained world champions Nigel Benn and Lloyd Honeyghan but his well-publicised dream of a boxing academy for disadvantaged children at Vic’s Gym in Hampton appears to be over after the council claimed there are “a lack of suitable participants at present.”

Mr Sanders argues that he has held up his side of the contract in providing boxing trainers and equipment for the children, but that it was the council’s responsibility to find pupils to attend.

Mr Sanders said there was only a “small amount” of the £20,000 he had received left with the rest having gone towards the academy.

Criticising the council for its “wasted” grant, he said: “There’s no way they will get that back because we will give it to the people of this town.

“I will never do anything with the council again.”

The academy was set to open at the start of the year at the gym in Phorpres Way, close to Serpentine Green.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We want to make sure the right young people are being referred to the gym but have found there to be a lack of suitable participants at present. We have agreed with Kevin Sanders to pause the project in order to revisit it later this year when we hope to have found those young people who will benefit to make sure it is a success.

“We ​appreciate the effort put in to getting the project to this stage.”