Footscray Youth Club turns 70 and still going strong


    By Louise Cadell

    You’d be forgiven for not having heard of the Footscray Youth Club (FYC), but tucked behind Footscray Bowls Club in Hoadley Court lies an unassuming building that has been fostering community spirit through sport for 70 years strong.

    The FYC started way back in 1953, with help from the Footscray Women’s Auxiliary, to become home to the area’s burgeoning sporting clubs. Badminton, swimming, basketball, wrestling and boxing have all made this building their home at one stage, with the sport of boxing outlasting them all.

    The FYC wears its 70 years of history proudly. Stepping inside, you’ll find a lifetime of memories posted on the walls including photos, newspaper clippings, pennants, jackets and awards from prize-winning fighters, commonwealth games medalists and champions galore. And of course, a pic or two of Rocky Balboa – but what would a boxing gym be without one?

    For over 50 of its 70 years, former Australian Commonwealth boxing coach Beau Gerring and his wife Lorraine held the reins of this not-for-profit gym, steadfast in the ideal that boxing and training should be open to anyone and accessible to the entire community. Current head coaches Marg and Les continue with these community-first ideals as the gym enters a new decade and chapter of Footscray history. 

    At the Footscray Youth Club everyone is welcome, and everyone is encouraged. It’s quite the spectacle to watch teens, adults, and kids with their parents, all train together, making this gym as much about community as it is about fitness. Here’s to another 70 years strong for the Footscray Youth Club! 

    Footscray Youth Gym members at their last training for 2023. Photo: Louise Cadell
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