The Fernie Old School Boxing Club is opening their doors after taking a summer hiatus. The club, which is located between the Guide’s Hut and Ghostriders Trading Co. on second avenue, is open to the public three nights a week for the fall season.
Mike Johnson, the president of the club and one of the coaches, is encouraging everyone to try out boxing, even just as a different style of exercise.
“Anybody’s first time is free. Come and try it, and if you like it – hopefully you will – come some more. We are a friendly bunch. We want to encourage people to come down. It’s a great discipline,” Johnson said.
The club offers a variety of training exercises, including circuits, heavy bag training and sparring that appeal to different groups of people. In mid-October, they will host a six-week boot camp for kids’ and every Monday is Ladies’ Night at the club, aiming to encourage women to try out the sport.
“It can be totally intimidating, but I think once [women] see it, and then they might come another night and see what the mix is like. A lot of the girls that have done that actually prefer the mixed night because it’s a bit more kind of intense,” said Johnson.
The gym itself is a large room with concrete floors. There is a ring in the middle designed for sparring, with different areas dedicated to other exercises and drills encircling the ring. It has an authentic boxing gym atmosphere, which is exactly why ‘old school’ is in the name of the club.
The club operates as a non-profit society, allowing the costs to be kept to a minimum. There is a $5 drop in fee, or a month pass is $40, with all proceeds going to pay for the building rental. Johnson, who has been at the helm of the club for three years, emphasized that giving back to the community is an integral part of the club. Local sports teams such as the Ghostriders, the Avalanche City All Stars and the rugby clubs often train at the boxing club. The club also organizes charity events. Their most recent on in February raised over $17,000 for Shyanne Osmond, a seven-year-old girl facing a rare and severe medical condition. Because it’s a non-profit, all coaches and organizers are volunteers and do it for the love of the club and sport.
The club opens on Tuesday, Sept. 1 for the first night of the season. It is open every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.fernieoldschoolboxing.ca.