After a difficult few months, the Sooke Boxing Club is back and in a much stronger position than ever to grow and prepare for its first overseas event in two years.
Since December, the non-profit has been without a place to call home after a rent hike made it too expensive to remain in its previous space.
“We got a hold of T’Sou-ke First Nation because they have the old Lazzar Building, which is an old Catholic Church across from (Edward Milne Community School), and so they said they were interested in us using that space,” said Ellen Connor, the club’s coach. “We were pretty tight in our location, and this is a bigger place … so we can offer more, which is great.”
Connor said the new space is already providing benefits, even though it is expected to take until March 1 for the club to set up and resume classes. The club’s long-standing partnership with Edward Milne Community School will only be strengthened now that the club is across the street.
More importantly, the new space is larger and more cost-effective. Combined with the strong community support the club has received, Connor said she has high hopes membership and volunteer rosters will grow.
“The community rallied around us, and they didn’t want us to leave,” said Connor.
“We are so appreciative of that, and now we cannot only continue to have the club, but we are in a position where we can grow it, which is pretty cool. Three months ago, we thought it was the end of it.”
In the short term, however, the new space will provide more consistent training opportunities for the club’s West Coast Wonder Woman travel team, which is set to compete in a friendly all-female match in Mexico at the end of March.
The friendlies will be the first time in two years the team – made up of women from B.C., Alberta and Nova Scotia – has been able to travel.
“It’s awesome. It will be my first fight,” said member Kriss Snelling. “I’m taking my daughter Lake with me, and she is going to fight too. It’s pretty exciting.”