Joel Kolenchuk teaches his students after having taken over Deane's Black Belt Academy.

Joel Kolenchuk teaches his students after having taken over Deane's Black Belt Academy.

Boxing clubs finds new home on the westside

The Two Rivers Boxing club has found a new home at the West Park Mall, where Easy Homes used to be.

The Two Rivers Boxing club has found a new home at the West Park Mall, where Easy Homes used to be.

Boxers attended their first practice in the new space Wednesday, as head coach Matt Tessier made frames to hang the heavy bags from.

With just the single hiccup and a floor full of people training, Tessier was happy with the new digs.

“All in all it’s been a very good move,” he said.

The club was previously renting a space from the Quesnel Tillicum society and had been for some time.

The society had given the club a good price, but the space had always been limiting for the club.

Often they would have to forgo practice if another group rented the hall.

The limitations would have become even more strict after the completion of the planned renovations at the Tillicum Society. The club would no longer be able to hang their heavy bags in the renovated hall.

That, combined with the months of closure the renovations would entail, convinced both parties that the Tillicum society was not necessarily the best home for the club any more.

“We had no choice but to move,” Tessier said.

The new space will also allow them to have the ring set up for sparring, which they were not able to do  at the Tillicum Society. This will be a boon for the boxers.

“The guys need the ring to learn how to fight in the ring,” Tessier said.

“It’s a big difference fighting in the ring than sparring on the floor.”

The ring isn’t currently set up at their new place, though. The club is waiting for the show at St. Anne’s at the end of the month before moving it to the new space were it will reside semi-permanently – it will move for shows and on the occasional time a club in Prince George needs it.

Besides having the ring, the new home also allows the club unfettered access along with more visibility.

This will allow boxers to train more often when bouts are coming up. It will also allow the club to grow, expanding into classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the club is currently dark.

Tessier hopes the extra visibility and convenient location will help the club grow and fill up its new location.

With all those solid benefits, there’s always the less concrete benefit of having a place to call your own, and there’s a lot to say for that.

“There’s a little more pride for the boxers, as it’s their own place,” Tessier said.

“They like it already.”