Sooke Amateur Boxing Club is once again in full swing.
Last Tuesday after a brief three week closure, they re-opened their once popular boxing program to participants of all ages.
The club was originally formed in 2004 by some local boxing talent and parents who were determined to provide a place for their kids to learn the sport.
Although they have maintained sufficient numbers to keep them afloat for the past eight years, those numbers have recently declined, threatening the club’s existence.
Refusing to get knocked out, the club has thrown a counterpunch with the help and determination from a few who hold the program near to their hearts. With a few positive changes, the coaching staff, Tony Brogan and Seth Gotro, are very excited about where the club is going.
Brogan’s ambition is to develop a community based committee with several coaches and officials. With a long list of credentials, including winning the national title of All Ireland in 1964, NCCP certified Brogan achieved his career goal in 1966 when he defeated the finalist for the UK heavyweight title at Wembley stadium. Although Gotro has not gone as many rounds as Brogan, he too has trained with the best. Taking up boxing in 2001 Gotro has had opportunity to train with boxing hall of famer Mike Caird and Olympian Donny Orr Jr. Training at Peterec’s Martial Arts under the tutelage of Mickey Griffin and Russ Lyon, Gotro won the 91kg+ Golden Gloves in 2004.
When asked about the club’s philosophy, Gotro replied, “boxing is THE great leveller and it teaches us to be humble, respectful to others and instills that core belief, especially in young people, that anything can be accomplished through hard work and effort.”
The duo agreed that boxing is a sport that puts the onus on the individual to succeed and in the end, unlike team sports, there will be no one to blame but themselves if they are not successful.
Gotro goes on to say he believes society in general looks down on, and places little value on personal accountability – there’s always someone else to blame. With boxing, we are taught that our efforts, our hard work, are something to value over all else.
With the availability of the Sooke Community Hall generously provided by the Sooke Community Association at minimal costs, the club is able to keep costs down to its members.
A monthly membership is $30 with an additional registration fee of $20. However, the registration fee will be applied towards the first monthly fee for March only.
There is also a family rate as well as a $5 drop in fee.
Volunteers are welcome at the fully insured facility that offers a full sized ring, as well as other exercise equipment.
Located at 2037 Shields Road. The club is open Tuesday and Friday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributed by Cheryl A. Ring