A SEVEN-TIME Turkish champion whose shot at Olympic glory was crushed by a broken hand is setting up a boxing club for youngsters in Hounslow.
Ahmet Canbakis, of Harvest Road, Feltham, was national champion at seven different weights in his native country.
But the 47-year-old father-of-two missed out on his big chance at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 after breaking his hand while training with the British team a week before the Games were due to start.
Now he hopes to help youngsters in Hounslow achieve their dreams of Olympic success by opening a boxing club at Cranford Community College.
"I was devastated to miss the Seoul Olympics but now is my chance to give something back to boxing and maybe help give youngsters in Hounslow the chance I never had," he told the Chronicle.
Mr Canbakis, who ran a successful boxing club in France, already coaches children at the Feltham Police Boxing Club, which meets at Feltham Community College every Friday night.
However, he wants to start a new after-school club, open five days a week, at Cranford Community College.
The school has already agreed to let him use the premises, but Mr Canbakis still needs donations for equipment.
He has also offered a prize of 10 free boxing lessons and a pair of boxing gloves to whoever designs the best logo for the new club.
"Boxing is my life and I want to help others enjoy it. There are no after-school clubs in the area at the moment but I believe I can create junior champions from Hounslow at this club."
For more about the new club, and to make a donation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.