A local boxing club is giving amateurs the chance to step into the ring and raise money in memory of a teenager who died six months ago.
Ellis White, 18, committed suicide at his family home in Belle Vale despite seeming to be eagerly looking forward to the future.
Now No Limits boxing gym, located in the city centre, is set to honour the “fabulous and smiling” youngster who appeared to have a bright future ahead of him.
The event this Sunday will raise money towards the Ellis White Foundation, which aims to offer defibrillators to Sunday League football facilities across the city.
The foundation, set up by Ellis’ father Mark, also aims to go into schools and talk about the possibilities that teenagers do get depressed.
Speaking to JMU Journalism, trainer Daniel Withington admitted suicide and depression is not an easy subject to talk about but believes it’s something that ‘needs to be approached from a young age’.
He said: “Ellis’ father Mark comes to the gym regularly as he is a member and he always helps the lads out. So there was no better thing to do it for than the Ellis White Foundation which we have currently set up.
“With it being close to home, myself and Chris and the lads in the gym wanted to help him out.
“Obviously Chris and I want to support Mark and we think it’s a great idea.
“That’s why we also did it for the HJC (Hillsborough Justice Campaign) back in March, we do alright in work and we enjoy our job so it’s nice to support other people.”
The white-collar event, which is close to a sell-out, is set to take place at the former 051 nightclub on Mount Pleasant, and will see 18 bouts between amateur fighters who have had little or no previous experience in the ring.
Fellow trainer Chris Tamm has praised the participants’ efforts in training and is looking forward to Sunday’s event.
He said: “Speaking on behalf of the lads, to get some of them, who are hairdressers, solicitors – in fact, some of them have never even touched a pad or put a glove on before they came to this gym – to take part is great.
“To see them progress from what they were doing to stepping into a ring, which takes a lot of bottle, is something to be proud of and it’s an achievement.
“Not only for what we’ve helped them get to but it’s an even bigger achievement for themselves and then the flipside to that is the charities that you help.”
The organisers have also managed to obtain the services of Radio City DJ Lee Butler as compere for the evening, as well as local boxer Courtney Fry, who will be refereeing the contests.
In addition to this, various local businesses have thrown their weight behind the event which Mr Withington believes shows the level of support in this city for a worthy cause.
He added: “They’re really happy putting their hand in their pocket because of what it is.
“It’s getting the advertisement out that people are going to support the Ellis White Foundation. This is a stepping stone; it is community support and making others aware of what other people can do.”