The DeHood Story
De Hood Story
De Hood really started two years ago when Reagan Denton asked a group of youngsters to stop throwing the contents of a doggy-scoop bin at passing motorists in front of his house. At the time, he would not have objected to their endeavours if some of them had been better shots and had not missed the targets and pebble-dashed his frontage. During the conversation that followed, it became clear that the kids had little else to occupy their time and Reagan suggested that they take up boxing training. He then persuaded a local pub to allow him access to a small room when it was not being used and hung-up a couple of boxing-bags. The following evening, two lads turned up and he put them through a training regime. The following night four pitched up and within weeks he had managed to scrounge eight bags and they were all doubled up. Before long, he could not cater for the unofficial membership that had grown on a weekly basis.
At this stage in its development, the project was just a nameless, shapeless entity with no back or official status of any kind. Undeterred, Reagan put aside his personal plans and booked all of his free time to keep the scheme alive. Inspirited with newfound purpose, Reagan began to turn his vision into a venture, starting with the name. At first, it was The Hood, a name that combined boxing regalia and street slang. This was until Reagan’s wish to progress into being a formal and legitimate organisation, lead him to discover ‘The Hood’, was already trademarked.
“No problem, in South Yorkshire we say De Hood, not The Hood.”
With that response, De Hood Limited was formed. Before long, the accommodation available had been outgrown by an ever increasing tide of memberships. What was at first a few lads, now boasted just as many girls as boys, as well as a diverse age group attending a variety of classes. Local residents helped Reagan acquire the relevant licences and meet the requirements needed to form a legal organisation, and local councillor Terry Fox alongside the council, agreed to give him a gym to use and adjoining rooms at a recently vacated school. Meanwhile, the South Yorkshire Police made a pledge to help Reagan purchase a boxing ring complete with equipment, whilst South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue pledged to match their donation. With great support from those around him, in May 2017 Reagan collected the keys to this gym.
It didn’t matter that the gym wasn’t the most pristine and perfect place in the world, and Reagan and his team were not going to shy away from the few weeks work needed to fix it up. With residents helping out, De Hood was soon boasting one of the best boxing gyms in Sheffield. Beyond being clean and well maintained, sporting professionals donated pictures and banners to adorn the walls in sports memorabilia, as a constant inspiration to any who would step into the gym, and just as De Hood brought together the worlds of the streets and boxing, the gym followed suit as street artists were used to cover any bare wall with beautifully designed graphics and street art.
De Hood now stands as a sanctuary for anyone to come in and be treated the same. From young men to old ladies, there is no discrimination in De Hood and every member adheres to Reagan’s rules of self discipline and respect to others. It is this exact lifestyle that De Hood will always promote and endorse.
Though it started as a boxing gym, many people did not feel that they could properly exercise through boxing if they had no particular love of gloves themselves. To add to their variety, running sessions, singing and dancing were introduced to great success. On any one night as many as 50 people can come take part in the evening run around the local vicinity, providing a safe, friendly way to get out and exercise in the world. Plans are underway to start other sports and activities once the official opening is completed. Eventually, our aim is for everyone in the local community to not only become members but find a service that relates and appeals to them. In this radically expanding social enterprise, we want everyone to be given an opportunity to join.
Many members were not interested in boxing training and running, singing and dancing was introduced. The success can best be summed up by confirming that on any one night, as many as fifty people can pitch-up to take part in the evening run around the local vicinity. Now plans are underway to start other sports and past-times once the official opening is completed and an updated administrative infra-structure is put in place to ensure that all the relevant legal and social requirements are complied with. Indeed, the aim is for everyone in the local community to become members – or at least, be given the opportunity to join and become part of this rapidly expanding social enterprise.