The East Carolina University club boxing team said it is one of the many different extracurricular activities that students can take part in, but unlike some, this club takes a lot of hard work and requires a substantial time commitment.
The club boxing team is similar to most club teams in the way that they have tryouts for people who are interested in joining. Junior Caleb Walters said that the difference with boxing is that unlike most club teams, it is all-gender inclusive and the tryout is not based on experience or talent, but on work ethic and motivation.
“You just have to work hard and want to box,” Walters said. “Obviously if you have a negative attitude or are just trying to come in here and learn how to fight, that’s not what we’re about.”
That being said, Walters and the other leaders of the club assure that all members are encouraged to do the best work they can and try their absolute hardest. They said it is very important to the team that they not only push themselves but each other as a team as well.
According to Walters, although some may see boxing as a violent sport, it is also a great way to get in shape. He said they make safety a priority and makes sure that each member learns proper techniques to be efficient in their workout but keep them and opponents safe.
“We’re not here to hurt people,” junior Ruben Valdez, the president of the boxing club, said. “Even though boxing is a contact sport, we are not in the business of getting concussions, we are in the business of teaching people how to box safely.”
Valdez said he thinks a big part of their club dynamic is that they are not just a team, they are a “family.” He said no one ever feels less than or below the person next to them and no matter who is stronger or who is more agile, they all get along and work together for the benefit of each other.
“One thing we are really trying to foster right now is the feeling of a family, like a crew, rather than just a club and people you go to school with,” Valdez said.
It is also mandatory to make practices, which are Monday through Thursday 7 to 9 p.m. inside of the Student Recreation Center in room 238 and court No. 6. Having a two-hour long practice at the end of a long day may not seem like something to be interested in, but Walters said it is a good way to blow off some steam after a day of hitting the books.
In the past years, the team participated in “Smokers” at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where they would match up with military boxers. Walters said that the club is looking forward to getting more involved with other universities, specifically North Carolina State University.
Walters explained that joining the team does not mean that everyone gets a chance in an actual ring style fight. Most of the members are not ready yet and are just learning for the first time, so most of the matches are done by the more experienced boxers.
“Most people come into the club with zero experience,” Walters said. “It is pretty much a class to learn all the fundamentals of boxing. So, if you are interested in learning it, just come by and talk to someone.”
The club boxing team is an all inclusive club that is devoted to hard work. If interested in learning more, they can be reached at Boxingemail@example.com for more information.