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King's Cross boxing club packs a punch with French Olympic team

PUBLISHED: 19:10 03 August 2012 | UPDATED: 20:17 03 August 2012

French boxing team

French boxing team

Dieter Perry

Camden did not know what had hit it this week as boxers from the French Olympic team descended on the borough to train.

The official French training facility is at St Pancras Amateur Boxing Club in Talacre Road, Kentish Town, and the 17-strong team is ensuring that the Gallic march in the area continues.

Kentish Town has become a magnet for the French due to a French lycée, which opened last September, and its proximity to the Eurostar.

It is not clear whether the French team picked the club to be nearer their fellow countrymen or for the state-of-the art facilities – or both.

The club’s director Geoff Springer revealed it boasts a 24sqft Olympic-sized ring and “everything you would want for an Olympic training programme”.

The club reopened in March after a hi-tech refurbishment. It is the oldest amateur boxing club in the country and was first set up in 1890.

Attracting the French team to train there has been a coup for the club, which is benefiting from the athletes’ presence.

Mr Springer said: “It’s fantastic. It’s an absolute pleasure to watch these guys train and work with them. What’s happened is that our coaches are learning from their coaches. The kids are seeing how they train.”

The beautiful relationship is set to continue beyond the Olympics as the team has indicated they want to use the facility when they train outside of France.

Moreover, the team has been challenging the French reputation for being laissez-faire – or just plain lazy – as they have been rising at the crack of dawn to commute from the Olympic village to start training at 5am. Sacre bleu!

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