We have a really special treat for Day 22 :)
Tri-Town Boxing is a non-profit organization that offers a fabulous facility for youth in our community helping develop physical fitness, self-confidence and self-esteem. The club, located at the exhibition grounds in North Sydney, opened in 2012 by coaches Michael Gerrow and Steven MacDonald, along with trainers Alton MacKinnon, Dave Williams and Ray Biggity.
We were invited to tour their facility and view demonstrations of their training capabilities.
Take a peek at what Michael and Steven had to say:
Why did you start this venture?:
Michael - I started this venture because I felt the Northside community was lacking a boxing club since 2009. Boxing is a great sport for youth to learn self control, respect, self confidence and fitness.
I boxed for 10 years and I feel that boxing has led me down the right path in life. This is why I wanted to give back to the community, to help the youth succeed.
Steven - I started this venture because boxing has been a big part of my life since I was young. I saw this sport help a lot of people through hard times. I enjoyed boxing and training when I was involved. After, life got in the way of my boxing career and I started a full time job I didn't have time for boxing anymore. Even though I did not compete anymore, I always remembered the impact my coaches had in my life. Just little things like helping with self-confidence, respect, responsibility, and life choices. It's something you don't see as a young man, but as I got older I started to see how much they helped me out. Now we give back to our community's youth.
What do you feel you offer/bring to Cape Breton?:
Michael - A sport that is affordable for all youth. With a low cost sports program, even less fortunate youth are able to participate in 3 nights a week training program instructed by certified coaches.
Steven - We offer Cape Breton a competitive organized sport that is affordable for parents. We have a great staff that get along great with our members. We consider ourselves friends and mentors to our boxers. We try to help out as many troubled youth as possible taking there negatively and focus it on boxing.
Any big plans coming up?:
Michael - We recently traveled to Brampton Ontario and participated in the largest boxing tournaments in Canada, where 3 of our athletes won medals. Our next big competition is Canadian National Championships in Quebec City at the end of March, with 3 athletes participating. Our boxing club holds a major fight card at the Emera Center Northside at the end of May. I feel very fortunate to be able to travel with the athletes that I train, to watch them succeed in a sport they love.
Steven - Our big plans... we are having a fight card on May 28th and we hope to have some national champs fighting in Quebec City in March.
What is something you have learned about running a business in Cape Breton?:
Michael - I have learned there is not enough funding for youth programs in our area. Being a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on fundraisers and any kind of donations to be able to give our youth the opportunity to travel to competitions such as the Canadian Nationals.
Steven - Running a business in Cape Breton is tough. When we first opened the club in 2012, I didn't think there was so much work involved in running a non-profit organization. Besides training the boxers and taking them to fight cards, there is a lot of financial work such as fund raising, collecting monthly dues, paying bills, along with the administration aspect such as registrations, boxing NS meetings,and maintenance to the club. As a non-profit youth organization, the Cape Breton community and businesses are more than helpful.
What are your favorite things to do or places to visit in Cape Breton when not busy running the business?:
Michael - Spending time with family, having some downtime, visiting our Highlands National Park in the summer, and taking in all the beauty Cape Breton has to offer.
Steven - We love to camp all over Cape Breton Island. It's hard to say where my favorite spot is because our entire island is beautiful.
Thank you very much Michael and Steven for taking the time to speak with us. It is a great thing you are doing to help the youth in our community.