THE founder and coach of Blacon Boxing Club was surprised and delighted after receiving a top community sport award.

UK retailer Spar announced Ross Broadbent was a regional winner of £2,000 for the People’s Podium, an initiative designed to support community sport across the country.

He was surprised at his local club by friends and family along with Spar Blacon colleagues who also presented him with a big cheque for £2,000 and an award.

It was a real celebration with the whole community coming together to celebrate what Ross has done for the local area.

Ross was nominated and eventually awarded this prize due to the impact he has had on his local community. Ross founded the club three years ago and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

After seeing the changes in the children’s behaviour after training, Ross and his team of 13 volunteers were invited to house their club in Blacon High School.

He is now raising money for a new purpose-built gym so that he can continue the development of the club and be able to facilitate more members.

Ross said: “I always wanted to get a boxing gym when I got a bit older.

"I started [Blacon] about three years ago, at a time when the council estate needed it. Kids were on computers and on phones and we needed to get them active.

"It’s great to be recognised and awarded the People’s Podium prize – this will go towards helping build the new gym.”

Spar UK digital marketing manager Alex Hall added his congratulations and said: “We would like to thank everyone around the UK who took the time to nominate their local hero.

"This year’s campaign was an outstanding success; Ross is a true role model for all the kids he teaches and deserves to be recognised.

"The People’s Podium campaign allows us to connect with communities through sport and it’s great to be able to celebrate and reward our grassroots sporting heroes in the towns and villages where our SPAR stores are situated.”

Building on the popular success of its campaign last year, Spar's People’s Podium invited people from across the nation to nominate their local sporting heroes who had a positive impact on their community.