After a number of years in hibernation, amateur boxing with PCYC is finally here and Narooma will be the home of competitive pugilism on the Far South Coast indefinitely.
And what a start it proved to be when three Olympic hopefuls of the Women’s Boxing team travelled down from the Australian Institute of Sport to launch the new boxing venue.
Thanks to the strong support provided by a joint partnership between Eurobodalla and Bega Valley shire councils, a boxing gymnasium has been established in the Narooma Sports and Leisure Centre. Club Narooma is also on board having donated a boxing ring for the PCVC activities.
The event was heralded by an official opening last Saturday which was very well attended by boxing personalities, past and present.
Former professional Australian Middleweight Boxing Champion, Vito Guidiosi travelled down from the Illawarra to ‘cut the ribbon’.
It was then over to AIS athletes Kristy Harris, Shelley Watts and Caitlin Parker who shared their boxing knowledge with the crowd in the form of free boxing lessons. All three girls are at the top of their game and will travel to Asia in March where they will battle it out in the qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Games later this year. Success in March will cement their positions in the Australian Olympic Team.
“What a wonderful opportunity it was for Narooma, to have three world class athletes travel down and help us launch boxing on the Far South Coast,” PCYC manager Gary Traynor said. “While the sport is not everybody’s preference, boxing is still one of the best ways to get fit and it is practised by many athletes from different codes to get into shape. So make no mistake that boxing training can be both safe and fun.
PCYC offers “Boxing for Fitness” classes every Friday from 5pm to 6pm which are non-contact and simply involve a work out using hand held equipment. There is no sparring during these classes and training is conducted under very controlled conditions.
And due to popular demand, the adult fitness class will be preceded by “Boxing for Fun” from 4pm to 5pm which will target primary school aged children.
The kids classes will commence with the new school term, with a strong emphasis on boxing style games. Gary indicates “The children will have the opportunity to get fit, but will also have fun doing it”.
Narooma has a proud history of boxing and many will remember the town’s favourite son, boxer Leroy Brown. After a number of years which saw boxing fade into the background, the sport is back under the guidance of qualified coach Scott Wharfe who is a local police officer.
Scott acknowledges the pioneers of boxing in Narooma; Steven Spears and Mark “Ziggy” Zielinski, who trained Leroy along with many other talented young athletes. So with the boxing for fitness classes going strong, the opportunity now exists for anybody who wishes to enter into competitive boxing.
“Boxing is a long standing Olympic sport with very strict guidelines that ensure the safety of athletes. Amateur boxing is all about skill and technique,” Scott said. “The rules are there to protect the fighters and I can assure parents that their children can participate in this PCYC activity without reservation.”
So anybody who wishes to try amateur boxing is encouraged to join the box fit classes to increase their fitness level before they even think of contact sparring. A number of young athletes have already joined the Narooma boxing team and Scott hopes to have them ready for their opening bout when PCYC hosts their first major “Fight Night” in September.
So watch this space as big things are planned for this exciting sport on the coast.