Canning Boxing Club hopes to attract sponsors as competitors build reputation

Kirk Starratt
Published on December 7, 2016

Coaches and members of the Canning Boxing Club have their sites set on becoming better established in the coming year. They hope to attract sponsors and maybe hold their own card.

©Kirk Starratt

CANNING, NS - For aspiring pugilists in Kings County, there is room to grow at the Canning Boxing Club.

Following the recent passing of Berwick Boxing Club president Nancy Chittick, the group amalgamated with the Canning club, which was established last year. Head coach Tasha Weisner said the two groups were already working together so it made sense to team up.

They now have approximately 30 members, including seven competitors. There are male and female boxers, ranging in age from 10 to late 50’s. Located in the basement of the Canning Lions Hall, Weisner said the club is working hard to build its reputation.

“We’re hoping in May, if it works out, to get a boxing card going at the Canning arena,” Weisner said.

The boxers are quite excited over this possibility. All club competitors would have a match. Weisner said the club also hopes to soon hold some clinics and demonstrations in area schools to help attract new members. She points out that the sport teaches discipline.

Weisner said the club hopes to find sponsors to help with expenses. This is extremely important to their continued viability. The club just received its federal charitable number, which will allow them to issue income tax receipts for donations.

Head coach Joe Graves was welcomed into the Canning club after the amalgamation with Berwick. He said their goal is to become more financially stable so their boxers can afford to travel to compete.

“Most of these kids, they can’t afford it,” Graves said. “Some of them that come in here can’t even afford sneakers.”

Graves said amateur boxing is as safe as other sports. A strong focus is placed on technique. He teachers his boxers not to be afraid to try and fail because boxing, like life, is all about working hard to improve. Knowing how to win and lose is what makes a champion.

Graves, who has 22 years experience, said a mutual trust and respect between trainer and boxer is important and he works hard to instil this. Learning to respect others is a trait that will serve their boxers well inside and outside the ring.

He said the coaches don’t judge and they want to work together as a team training their boxers. Other coaches include Ryan Ward, Jim McKeen and Jesse Benjamin. All the coaches are volunteers. Graves said he’s been re-energized by joining the Canning club.

16-year-old Tereance Shoultz of Somerset is a competitor in the Canning Boxing Club. He won his recent match at provincials and was runner-up for ‘Fight of the Night’ honours.

©Kirk Starratt

Learning the ropes

16-year-old Tereance Shoultz of Somerset represented the club at provincials in New Glasgow recently. The Grade 11 student at Central Kings said he got involved in boxing two-and-a-half years ago after his brother Eric Dorey suggested that he join the nearby Berwick Boxing Club.

Shoultz said he tried it, liked it and stuck with it, joining the Canning club following the amalgamation. He said Canning has a quality club with good coaches.

“The coaches will come up to you and tell you what you’re doing wrong and how to improve yourself all the time,” Shoultz said. “You’ve just got to listen to them and you’ll do pretty fine, I’d say.”

He feels he’s come a long way since he started boxing, becoming more physically fit, confident and outgoing. He’s made a lot of good friends and his school grades have improved.

Shoultz said the most challenging thing is balancing training with school and other commitments. However, the positives outweigh the negatives.

He described his recent match at provincials as “quite a war” and he was honoured to be the first competitor to represent the Canning club in the ring. Shoultz boxed first, then Josh Jay, who also represented Canning. Both won their matches.

“His fight got ‘Fight of the Night’ and I was runner-up for ‘Fight of the Night’,” Shoultz said. “We had a pretty good time, I enjoyed it quite a bit.”

Shoultz’s goal is to one day compete at nationals and take home a gold medal. Jay will have his shot at nationals in Quebec this April.