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Rio Games show that boxing is a big hit for women

This Olympics marks the second time that females have been included for boxing. Three weight classes were represented in Rio.
Boxing provides more than just a tough physical workout, bringing in hand-eye co-ordination, analytical aptitude and even inner peace, writes trainer Meghan O’Connell.

This Olympics marks the second time that females have been included for boxing. 

Three weight classes were represented in Rio. What a huge milestone!

Throughout the 16 years that the sport has been part of my life, I’ve often been asked, “Why boxing?” My personal motivation has been, paradoxically, to find some inner quiet. It’s been my touchstone of moving meditation, and while it’s admittedly visceral, it’s the best way I know to connect to my centre and stay completely present in the moment.

On a more physical level, it gives a heck of a workout! Years ago, ESPN’s Page 2 team deemed boxing the sport that demands the most of its participants: elements such as endurance, power, agility, are absolutely necessary, but also aspects such as hand-eye co-ordination and analytical aptitude. (One of my clients has described her boxing workouts as “Sudoku for the body.”)

The Rock Steady organization is an example of taking the sport’s conditioning element to a whole new level. They use it to help people with Parkinson’s disease reduce their symptoms and improve their function and quality of life. As they explain on their website, “boxing works by moving your body in all planes of motion while continuously changing the routine as you progress through the workout.”

I invite you to spend some time getting to know more about the “sweet science.”

Meghan O’Connell is the 2004 British Columbia champion and national bronze medalist in the 54-kilogram division. She is an NCCP-registered Level A boxing coach and teaches a boxing class at Positively Fit on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. Everyone from teens to seniors is welcome, men and women. The next session begins September 12. Register at