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Two local boxers are celebrating sporting success following the National Amateur Boxing Championship which took place in the North East for the first time.

Held on Monday 11 December, The NABGC Boxing Championships were hosted by regional charity – Durham Association of Boys & Girls Clubs (DABGC) and saw under 21 year old boxers from across the UK take to the ring at The Lancastrian Suite, Gateshead.

Former European junior bronze medallist Ben Rees of Birtley Amateur Boxing Club defeated Patrick Allen Cripps of Harwich Boxing Club near Essex while another local boxing star, Travis Waters of Sunderland Amateur Boxing Club, retained his title from last year.

Ivan Wood, Interim Chairman at DABGC, said: “We’re very proud to have been given the opportunity to host the National Association of Boys & Girls Clubs boxing championships alongside NE Youth. It is the first time that the event has been held in the region and the atmosphere on the night was electric with the young boxers putting on a fantastic display of talent.

“Many of the young people who take part in this competition are likely to be our next Olympians and Commonwealth Games competitors. Having seen these young people compete in the Class D finals, one thing is for sure – there’s a lot of competition in youth boxing at the moment which is great to see.

“We would like to congratulate all boxers involved in the competition – especially Ben and Travis for their success on the night.”

The NABGC Boxing Championships have a strong reputation for uncovering sporting talent. Previous winners of the competition have included some of the biggest names in boxing including Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Amir Khan.

Each year, the NABGC Boxing Championships are hosted by a variety of National Association of Boys & Girls Clubs member organisations, who work together to put on this prestigious championship for the young people of the UK. This year, it was the turn of DABGC who co-hosted the event with NE Youth.

Founded in 1933 Durham Association of Boys and Girls Clubs is a registered charity and which covers a wide geographical area including County Durham, Darlington, South Tyne and Wear and Cleveland – from the Tyne to the Tees.

Run predominantly by volunteers, DABGC works to offer opportunities for young people to take part in a wide variety of sports and events to boost their personal and social development.

To find out more about Durham Association of Boys & Girls Clubs, visit