Although boxing is refined, dignified and known as a gentleman’s sport, it’s usually not associated with women.
That changed last spring when the West Coast Wonder Women boxing card was hosted by the Sooke Boxing Club.
The event, believed to be only the second all-female boxing card in Canada – and the only one in Western Canada – attracted 58 fighters from all over B.C. and as far afield as Ontario and California for the two-day event.
Nine female boxers from Sooke competed on the card.
And it appears many women sitting on the sidelines were watching, too, and considering their options.
As the Sooke Boxing Club prepares for the second annual West Coast Wonder Women, 18 women have been training since December in preparations for the event, which will be held over the Victoria Day long weekend.
“Boxing helps women feel empowered,” said Ellen Connor, head coach at the Sooke Boxing Club.
“Many [of the boxers] saw last year’s event and wanted to try it out.”
It isn’t just for elite athletes, said Connor, pointing out this year’s group has girls and women from age nine to 44.
The Sooke Boxing Club has a multifaceted program that takes women through several steps to becoming a competitive boxer.
The group starts sparring for the first time next week.
This year, there are two groups: one workout in Sooke and the other at a downtown gym. The downtown group is under the direction of Forge Martial Arts. The two groups come together once a week to workout in Sooke.
“It’s hard for girls to find a fight,” Connor said. “This event helps them get there.”