A Home for Champions

28 June 2017

A Bell Block martial arts group has a new home thanks to a New Plymouth District Council community lease. 

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The Hurricanes Martial Arts Academy moved into the old Scout Hall earlier this year and have been slowly doing it up into a purpose-designed training base.

The move was made possible thanks to a special NPDC lease on the land.

Now the club with about 65 members – mostly kids – can grow with the community.

“The Scout Hall has a long history from scout groups to the last occupants, Box Office Boxing, which produced some of New Zealand’s best boxers,” says Hurricanes founder Gavin Hughes.

“The Hurricanes plan to add to the history by creating future champions both in the arena and in life.”

The Hurricanes bought the building from Box Office Boxing for just $1 and NPDC approved a concessionary lease on the land for $1 a year for 10 years.

Previously the Hurricanes had rented hall space in Bell Block.

“Since moving to the Mangati Reserve site, we have been able to create a safer training area with fixed floor mats and permanently hanging boxing bags,” says Mr Hughes.

“We are planning major internal and external upgrades over the next four years as we intend to grow and retain our membership base and upgrade the facilities and our equipment.”

NPDC Property Management Lead Catherine Croot says the Council operates about 120 such community leases.

“This is an example of the good that New Plymouth District Council community leases do, such as enabling the use of a run-down building for kids and adults to get together and keep fit and enjoy themselves,” says Ms Croot.