A PROMISING Arbroath sportsman is appealing for sponsorship so he can realise his dream to compete in the Commonwealth Games and beyond.
Boxer Jamie McDowell (15) is asking for help meeting the costs of the training that could one day propel him onto the world stage.
Jamie travels by train to Motherwell and Coatbridge every week for training, and is accompanied by his father, John, or his grandfather, Dave, because of his age.
As it stands, the family pay around £70 a week for the six-hour round trips, which will only increase when Jamie no longer qualifies as a child.
After his recent successes in Cardiff, Jamie has moved up the rankings to UK number three, and was also praised by Dick McTaggart as an outstanding pugilist.
His father said: “We’re just looking for some help so that Jamie can reach his full potential, the expense of it all is incredible.
“Arbroath Boxing Club have been great. They gave us £200 toward the trip to Cardiff to compete there.
“We really appreciate that because they’ve been a bit short since the council put their rent up.
“On the bus back from Cardiff, the boys were told that they represented the nucleus of the Scottish Commonwealth Games squad, so it’s really important for Jamie to keep training.”
John also believes that Arbroath would benefit from the provision of more sporting facilities for the many promising youngsters that the town produces.
He said: “There’s nothing for kids to do. The Barn Club in Coatbridge is run by just one guy and it’s open from two until nine for kids just to drop in and train.
“It’s worth doing something similar in this area. Offhand I can think of a few empty places. The old Ladyloan school is just sitting there doing nothing.
“There just aren’t enough facilities.”
A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Angus Council leisure services do not provide sponsorship but do give amateur athletes, who are recognised at national level, access to the National Athlete Scheme (NASA), as detailed on the council website at www.angus.gov.uk/leisure/facilities.cfm.
“The council operates a number of indoor facilities in the Arbroath area - the Saltire Leisure Centre, Arbroath Sports Centre and the Arbroath Community Centre.
“Arbroath Boxing Club has used the community centre for training and coaching purposes for a number of years and at present uses the centre on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
“The boxing club was given a grant of £1,898 in 2009, under the community grant aid scheme, towards the cost of purchasing a training ring.”