Local legend checks in

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla Lions were honoured to have local legend Lenny Griffiths attend their meeting on September 6 and speak about the Benalla Boxing Club.

He was accompanied at the meeting by his assistant coach Ben Wapling.

The club was established by Lenny with help from Ben and operates in the old railways goods shed at Benalla Station.

Up to 70 Benalla youths attend each of the three weekly afternoon sessions at the club.

Lenny has been a volunteer boxing teacher and coach since wrapping up his own stellar career in the ring in the 1960s.

He and Ben have been responsible for many youngsters making better life choices through their involvement in the club.

Ben told the meeting the club was much more than just training kids to box.

‘‘The club is not just about teaching boxing, self-defence, fitness and discipline,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re also on about developing life skills with these kids.’’

The Boxing Club has had support from Benalla Rural City Council with the lease of the shed, but faces ongoing challenges with expenses.

Insurance and equipment are major costs and the lack of showers and toilets at the shed presents a challenge.

Lions Club president Madeline Roff congratulated Lenny and Ben on the wonderful work they did for the community.

She also presented Lenny with a ‘‘Certificate of Appreciation’’ and a cheque for $1000 ($500 from Benalla Lions matched with a grant of $500 from the Australian Lions Foundation) to support their work at the Boxing Club.