A Sooke Boxing Club coach will be cycling from Colwood into town two days a week to train local fighters.
Tony Brogan, 69, is splitting up his commute from North Saanich to Sooke into two portions — first leg will be done by car, and the remaining half by bike.
The dedicated coach will get out of his vehicle in Colwood, where he will get onto his bike and cycle down Sooke Road into town.
So far, Brogan has been riding into town for about a week for practices on Tuesday and Friday, and all has been well.
“It’s okay… hills aren’t as bad as I thought they were , but they’re not as good as I hoped they’d be,” laughed Brogan.
The trip increases his travel time from half an hour to one hour and 15 minutes, which is good as the purpose of the exercise is fitness.
“I’m going to see if I can get my cycle ability up to 100 km a day or more,” he said. “Instead of being an old lump on a log, I’m going to blow a few flames into the embers.”
Fitness is not a new endeavour for Brogan, and neither is boxing. During his younger years in England, between the ages of 18-24, Brogan boxed professionally, earning the title of Heavy Weight Champion in all of Ireland in 1964, Heavy Weight Champion of Britain, UK in 1966, and Territorial Army Champion for the years 1963-1966.
During his six year boxing career, Brogan competed in 87 contests.
Brogan has been a coach with the Sooke Boxing Club for six years, and has continued to commute back forth after moving to
North Saanich three years ago.
The club, which formed in 2004, re-opened its doors in March after a three month hiatus.
According to Brogan, it was a “community involved revitalization” with interested members working together to bring boxing back to Sooke.
“I think it was a realization that if something wasn’t done it would die,” he said. The club is currently working on getting affiliated with the Boxing B.C. Association.
This will enable members to participate in matches with other clubs on the Island and Lower Mainland.
Anyone interested in becoming a contestant must be physically examined at the start of the season, and at the start of any games.
Brogan said the sport is extremely regulated, with coaches supervising all sparring in the club.
“I think it’s a worthwhile endeavour, because it’s a community asset. A lot of people think boxing is brutal, but there’s far less chance of an injury in boxing than most sports.”
With currently four to 10 regular members, Brogan hopes interest will grow.
“It’d be nice if we had 15 or 20 or even 30,” he said. “There’s lots of room for growth and enhancement, everybody should come by and try it out.”
The club is open to everyone aged 12 and up.
A monthly membership costs $30 with a one-time $20 registration fee. Drop ins are $5.
The club is held at the Sooke Community Hall at 2037 Shields Road on Tuesday and Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.