15 July 2010
Leo Berry's Richmond Boxing Gym is a Richmond icon and has been a valuable base for underprivileged & disadvantaged youth in the area for many years. Leo Berry, a boxing trainer and former boxer of approximately 50 fights, commenced operating Berry’s Gym from the premises formerly located at the rear of the current Richmond Recreation Center site (Gleadell Street, Richmond, Vic 3121).
From 1954 – 1987 Leo Berry’s Richmond Boxing Gym operated as a not-for-profit community facility and provided boxing and weight training to local school groups, community groups, sporting organisations and members of the general public within Richmond and other surrounding communities.
In particular, Leo Berry’s Richmond Boxing Gym provided training facilities for the children and disadvantaged youth from the Richmond community, including the neighbouring housing commission precincts. Youth from the neighbouring Richmond Technical School and athletes, sporting groups and organisations including Richmond Football Club (then coached by Tommy Hafey).
Leo Berry relocated the gym operations to the current site (formerly the gym and assembly hall of the Richmond Technical School) which is at the rear of 275 Church Street, Richmond, Vic 3121. The current site is owned by the State of Victoria and has been licensed to the Richmond Boxing Club following initial negotiations undertaken by David Galbally QC who has been a regular user of Berry’s Gym over many years in the past. Most recently, tenure of the licence has been strongly supported and lobbied by the Honourable Richard Wynne MP, State Member for Richmond.
Leo Berry, with assistance from his sons Brad and Jason Berry and other volunteers, continued to provide boxing and weight training to an increasing variety and number of individuals, groups and organisations within Richmond and other surrounding communities. In particular youth from the Richmond Technical School and Richmond High School, athletes, sporting groups and organisations including professional and amateur footballers and football clubs (during the off seasons) during the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s.
Leo Berry’s Richmond Boxing Gym continues to operate as a not-for-profit community facility and provides boxing and weight training to local school groups, community groups, sporting organisations and individuals, and the general public within Richmond and other surrounding communities.
It is registered as a non-profit organisation.
Leo Berry (now aged 80+years) manages the Gym and has the support of volunteers to assist with training and supervising of the participants and youth from the Richmond community, including the neighbouring housing commission precincts. Youth from schools like Lynall Hall Community School. West Papuan refugees from the Richmond community, athletes and sporting groups as well as the general public (both male and female) within Richmond and other surrounding communities.
In accordance with Leo Berry’s underlying philosophy, children and disadvantaged youth are not required to pay any training fees for boxing and fitness training or general use of Berry’s Gym.
Given Leo Berry’s Richmond Boxing Gym is a not-for-profit community facility, all donations received from the above individuals and sporting groups are used to keep the gym fully operable (eg. payment of insurance cover, electricity, gas, maintenance of boxing/fitness equipment, cleaning supplies, consumables and general maintenance etc.).