A group of young amateur boxers have been left devastated after their club’s minibus was stolen from outside their gym over the weekend.
Trainer Jimmy Harrington discovered the bus was missing from Freedom Boxing Club in Lindholme on Monday and was forced to inform his group of fighters at training later that day.
“I’ve had to stand and tell the kids that I’m not going to be able to take them out at the weekend for what we've got planned,” Harrington told the Free Press.
“The younger ones don’t really understand thieving and what it means. They just ask if we’re going to get a new one.
“It's not as simple as that, certainly for us. It’ll be a long time before we can replace it and it has a big effect on what we do.
“We’re not just a boxing club, we’re a project, a charity that is trying to do good things for the community and the young people that come to us.
“We're all gutted about this. Hopefully we get some information soon.”
Harrington says the minibus was taken from outside the gym adjacent to HM Prison Lindholme on the A614 between 10am on Sunday and 3pm on Monday.
A sighting of the bus has been reported at 1pm on Sunday in the Woodlands area.
Freedom Boxing Club is part of The Spirit of Freedom Project charity, which was relaunched in 2013 after funding was secured for renovations.
The project sought to work with the rehabilitation of inmates of the prison while also establishing itself as a community, not-for-profit fitness facility.
In a Facebook post, the Doncaster East neighbourhood policing team said the bus, with the registration number NJ59OMS, was taken without its keys.
It added: “The vehicle stolen belongs to a registered charity and is used to take under privileged children to boxing events and days out.
“Quite a few children have been heartbroken that this vehicle has been stolen as it has stopped their activities and has left them feeling very sad.”
Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.