A RURAL amateur boxing club has won itself a North-East title belt just days after securing funding for the first time in five years.

Tootill Boxing Club, at Trimdon Colliery, has enjoyed a string of successes in recent months which has seen its players gain national and regional recognition.

On Saturday 23-year-old member Tom Summerbell earned the newly released Tyne Tees and Wear Amateur Boxing Association 71kg belt - just one week after the club won funds of £4,000.

And the good news comes just weeks after one player fought it out at the quarter finals of the National Amateur Boxing Championships (NABC) while another secured the regional win in his weight category.

“It’s a big achievement for the club,” said Michelle Cook, who runs the club with husband and head coach David Cook. “And the funding will make a massive difference to the club.

“We haven’t had funding since about 2012.”

Mr Summerbell, who is one of about 40 people who attend the club’s three weekly sessions, earned his belt fighting against Redcar boxer Bobby Dalton at Spennymoor Boxing Academy.

Despite only having 30 fights under his belt and after over a year out of the game, the Trimdon Village boxer put on a “show-stopping” fight.

He joins Ethan Cook as one of the club’s most successful members.

The boxer won the North-East title fighting in the NABC but lost at the next stage in Hull.

Meanwhile Aiden Whiting also won his category at the North-East stage, and went on to fight at the quarter finals in Liverpool where he was up against one of the top players in England.

The gym-goers attend sessions three times a week with Mr Cook but have to be ready for competitions and extra training at the drop of a hat.

They, alongside other coaches and members, who range between nine and 45 years old, will benefit from the funds awarded to the club by the East Durham Rural Corridor AAP.

Voted by members of the public, the It’s Up to U fund will help cover the cost of new equipment and gear.

Among the items that the club will purchase are gloves, hand guards, a water bag, competition vests and skipping ropes.

For more information about the club search for Tootill Boxing Club on Facebook or email mailto:michnryan@btinternet.com