Ellen Connor says they’ve had to raise the cost of their monthly fees around $5 a person to afford buying additional pieces of equipment, to fulfill provincial health protocols. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Ellen Connor says they’ve had to raise the cost of their monthly fees around $5 a person to afford buying additional pieces of equipment, to fulfill provincial health protocols. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Strict ‘no sparring’ rule kept boxers safe during pandemic

Sooke Boxing Club explains how it was able to keep operating prior to Dr. Henry’s latest orders

Ellen Connor believes her no-nonsense approach at her boxing club in Sooke has helped keep the community safe, amid the COVID-related challenges faced by fitness classes across B.C.

Sooke Boxing Club credits a large part of its success in avoiding a potential COVID-19 outbreak by not allowing sparring in the boxing ring since the moment it re-opened in June.

The VI Free Daily spoke to Connor prior to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recent ban on adult sports, including combat sports, which has temporarily halted activity.

Up until that time, the Sooke Boxing Club, a non-profit organization with five volunteer boxing coaches, had been able to accommodate 12 athletes in its space while adhering to provincial health guidelines. Anyone in the boxing facility had a mask on, disinfectant spray nearby and was maintaining a two-metre distance by staying inside a square box outlined by bold, white tape on the floor.

READ MORE: Sooke boxing duo empowers women

“We didn’t want to open that door [for sparring] … because it could end up as a detriment for all of us,” Connor said. “Luckily, the new restrictions now say sparring is not allowed, and we don’t have to make too many new adjustments to stay open.”

She said that the decision to call off sparring lost her a few athletes, but that’s alright with her.

Connor said she has a wide demographic at the boxing club, which falls out of the norm of mostly 20 to 30-year-olds wanting to hook and uppercut their way to the boxing ring.

The club, located at 6686 Sooke Rd, teaches children in elementary school to people in their 60s. Two of their newest coaches are 15 and 16, respectively.

Connor’s daughter, Jill, taught a class by herself. She’s 15-years-old, but the amateur boxer who’s competed in 27 fights and counting has advanced skills compared to most club members.

The boxing club isn’t taking any new members. In addition, its Wonder Women boxing card, scheduled for May, is postponed.

Connor said she’s thankful that the community supported the club with various fundraising events, as they’ve been able to buy more pieces of equipment to accommodate provincial health guidelines.

Although the situation wasn’t ideal, Connor maintains a positive outlook.

“It’s the moments where a parent tells me that their little guy was really looking to ‘Boxing Day’ that makes it worthwhile.”

As for now, it’s about waiting for Henry’s OK to start again.

“Maybe it’s karma or I spoke too soon as we’re closed awaiting new guidelines to come out from the Provincial Health authority,” she said in a Facebook post. However…. still proud of our club and grateful for our community.”

ALSO READ: Sooke’s Wonder Women boxing card a smashing success


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BoxingSooke

 

Coach Ellen Connor says Sooke Boxing Club has been able to accommodate 12 customers in their underground space while adhering to provincial health guidelines. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Coach Ellen Connor says Sooke Boxing Club has been able to accommodate 12 customers in their underground space while adhering to provincial health guidelines. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)
Providing hospice in a time of pandemic

Vancouver Island hospices forced to adapt during a time when grief counselling greatly needed

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Bill Reekie and his then-four-year-old granddaughter Lily. Photo contributed
Alzheimer’s: beginning the Unplanned Journey

Watch for the signs and reach out for the help that is available

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
RDN Transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

A new well in Youbou is expected to meet the community’s drinking water needs for years, announced Klaus Kuhn, director for Youbou/Meade Creek. (File photo)
New well provides fresh water in Youbou

Well expected to meet community’s needs for years

Action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo sports organizations qualify for COVID-19 relief funding

Province announces support for curling, rowing, gymastics, softball, rugby, squash, football clubs

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Most Read