Sparring partners Tammy Johnson

Sooke Boxing Club hoping to land a knockout punch

Start up group will soon move into new digs and looks to expansion

Ten years ago, boxing changed Ellen Connor’s life.

It started with taking her son to boxing class at Olson’s Martial Arts Karate and Boxing Centre in Langford.

Now, Connor is head coach of the non-profit Sooke Boxing Club.

“It stemmed on how I found boxing in my mid-30s to how it changed my life, and I want to bring that to everyone,” Connor, 45, says.

Connor started out as a runner and after she got injured moved to weightlifting and Highland Games competition.

But it was boxing where she found real success – and quite by accident.

When she took her young son to boxing, she joined an adult’s class right after her son’s class.

“I never looked back,” she says.

Connor took her boxing to a new level by fighting in four amateur bouts, but changed focus after a few years from fighting to coaching.

After coaching at Olson’s gym, Sooke Health and Fitness and Sooke School District, she’s branched out with the Sooke Boxing Club.

The club started out of the basement at Sooke Health and Fitness, moved to Sooke Community Hall, and soon will have its own place at the old Salvation Army building on Sooke Road.

“We want to make this a community club,” says Connor, who works as a corrections officer at William Head Institution, a federal prison facility.

“The club is not all about the fighters. It’s not about the testerone and beat ’em up and bang ’em out. That’s not what we’re about – we’re empowering everyone.”

Sooke Boxing Club has more than 50 members from age seven to 70, with a good mix of children, men and women.

Some members do train to fight, while others like to train without stepping into the ring.

“The whole focus of the club is that it’s for everyone,” Connor says.

Soon the club will start a new program called box-tech which is operated similarly of karate where there is no contact.

Boxers earn coloured wraps, much like coloured belts in karate, as they progress through different levels.

“If you have a child and you’re really scared about the contact side of boxing, you can put them in boxing and do it as a non contact sport and learn the sweet science,” Connor says.

The Sooke Boxing Club is the only chartered Boxing B.C. club in Greater Victoria, and has many boxers who compete in the ring.

Boxing B.C. eased the rules last year to allow children between eight to 10 years of age to get in the ring and have a match.

“It’s a great program because it’s not scary to them anymore,” Connor says,

“It’s not the sense of getting in there at 13 or 14 and taking hard punches, while at 8, 9, 10 they’re not so hard and it’s an introductory to boxing.”

Connor says the best word to describe boxing is empowerment.

“It empowers people and makes them feel good about themselves,” she says.

For more information on the Sooke Boxing Club, please phone 250-634-4941 or email ellenconnor@shaw.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Sooke Mounties still searching for suspect weeks after sexual assault

RCMP have been unable to identify any suspects

Ongoing Saanich Schools strike forces production of ‘Matilda the Musical’ to Esquimalt High

Four Seasons Musical Theatre had to find alternative venue for production

Saanich ranked third for participation in FortisBC energy-efficient upgrades program

800 older apartment buildings in B.C. have received upgrades since 2015

Provincial funding allows Greater Victoria immigrants, refugees better access to counselling services

The Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees was a recipient of new funds

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Killer who fled to Taiwan day after shooting B.C. man over $80 sentenced 13 years later

The sentence comes 13 years after Shaoxin Zhang, 19, was killed in a Burnaby parking lot

B.C. forest industry trade mission finding new markets in China

Diplomatic tensions eased, minister Doug Donaldson says

Most Read