This year’s summer women’s boxing clinic was the best one so far. It was the third in our series and we managed to iron out some wrinkles and tweak the format so everything worked brilliantly well.
We finished the training component of the clinic with a fight night in which participants were matched against each other and we staged a replica of what people experience in an amateur fight, in the gym. We had a small but very vocal crowd of spectators – mostly friends, family and a few home coaches – cheering on the boxers. Everyone fought their hearts out in an effort to put together all the skills and ideas they’d picked up over the two days. It made for an entertaining evening of boxing. Everyone received a trophy.
The fight night was something we trialled in Canberra over the Queen’s Birthday weekend last year and it turned out to be such a success that we thought we’d include it at all future clinics. It is by no means compulsory and there were a few people who felt the sparring in the afternoon was enough for them and they couldn’t push it any more and that was perfectly fine. We also had a few bow out with injuries.
Out of 26 participants we had eight bouts.
On the Saturday we had a full day of drills and partner work after a talk from Garry Hamilton on stance, balance, power and the five S’s of sport – strength, suppleness, speed, stamina and the number one, skill. Then Bianca Elmir,. myself and Garry lead the group through a warm up and partner work drills and condition sparring for the rest of the day.
On Saturday afternoon exercise physiologist Tennille Hay gave a great session on mobility and strength without causing any undue fatigue for the fight night. Dave Cutting, President of Boxing Victoria, also spoke to the group about the rules of boxing and the way in which bouts are now judged, scored and refereed. Former champion amateur boxer Bess Slater, a newly minted referee herself, worked as the third woman in the ring for the open sparring before the fight night as well as helping supervise some of the partner work.
On Sunday, sports dietitian Louise Heta told us to listen to our hunger and not try to compete at a weight that was unhealthy as well as offering much more sensible and practical advice for a weight category sport.
This summer clinic was the biggest yet and a few people missed out on a place. But there will be more chances to advance your skills. As well as planning the winter clinic in Canberra, we are also going to stage several one-day ‘learn to spar’ workshop for those who want to take that next step in their boxing journey. Stay tuned. It’s a good time to be thinking about boxing as a sport if you are female. And these clinics are one of the best ways to get started.